UN Training PLO Forces in Gaza to Amass Along Israel Border

The United Nations is training members of the Fatah terrorist group.

Ezra HaLevi ,

Arafat's Force 17
Arafat's Force 17

According to the British Daily Telegraph, the UN training operation is being kept far away from the media, due to the sensitivity of a supposedly impartial UN choosing between competing terror groups within the Palestinian Authority.

The Telegraph report added that a former British Royal Marine has been hired to lead the training of Fatah’s 250-man elite Force 17, which Mahmoud Abbas inherited from former PLO terror Chief Yasser Arafat. The men will reportedly be stationed at the Karni Crossing, along Gaza’s border with Israel.

The funding for the training operation is being provided by Britain, Canada and Holland. The countries, approached by the Telegraph, denied that the Fatah men were being supplied with weapons, saying they were merely being trained in security techniques.

While the training itself is raising eyebrows in Israel, where Fatah’s Al-Aksa Brigades terror group has used weapons provided to Fatah when it controlled the Palestinian Authority, it is UN representatives in Gaza who were the most concerned, according to the report.

"The UN is meant to be totally impartial, above party politics and factional fighting," explained a UN worker, "and so to be seen to be helping just the Presidential Guard, which is connected to Fatah, raises very real risks." He said he now fears Hamas retribution.

The division of the UN in charge of the project is the United Nations Office for Project Service (UNOPS), a branch tasked with “dangerous missions,” according to the organization, such as clearing mines in war zones.

Meant to Help Failed Post-Disengagement Gaza
The UN chief overseeing the project told the Telegraph that the purpose of the training is to help the economic situation in Gaza by improving security at the Karni Crossing. The official attributes the failure of Gaza to flourish following Israel’s 2005 withdrawal to Israel’s repeated closure of the crossing.

Though Karni was closed following terror attacks targeting Israeli forces manning the crossing, the ransacking of the agricultural hothouses that were left by the Jewish farmers who were evicted did not help the economic situation of the PA either.

Following the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement in Mecca, PA officials hope to increase trade and international aid, both of which pass through Karni.