Three Israeli security guards who worked at the US consulate resigned in the wake of a plan to hire 35 Palestinians from East Jerusalem as armed security guards who are currently undergoing training in Yericho (Jericho). One of them has gone so far as to accuse the consulate of creating "an armed Palestinian militia."
According to the report in Yediot Aharonot, the plan is to employ the Palestinians mainly to escort convoys of American diplomats in Judea-Samaria.
This is a breach of an agreement between the Consulate and the Israeli government, signed in 2011, whereby only guards who served in combat units in the IDF who are employed by the consulate will be allowed to carry arms.
The report said that the change in the consulate Israelis began months ago, with the appointment of consulate security officer Dan Cronin. Employees say that since they started working there seven Israeli security guards were fired, compared with one Palestinian guard.
The three Israeli guards who recently resigned in protest at his behavior, say he is training the Palestinian security guards at the American facility in Jericho, where Palestinian security forces are training. Some of the guards were even flown to the US for training.
Employees who were employed at the consulate blame Cronin for blatantly opposing Israel and expressing pro-Palestinian statements.
"The law in Israel is only a recommendation for him," one employee fired. "Cronin does whatever he wants."
According to them, some of the Palestinian security guards employed at the consulate were arrested in the past for throwing rocks or have relatives who were convicted of hostile terrorist activities.
"The Consulate head's behavior tends toward the Palestinians, and Cronin actually established a Palestinian armed militia for the Consulate," an employee said. "He is training them with weapons, combat and tactical exercises. There is a lack of responsibility here - who ensures that such weapons, once given over to Palestinian guards, won't make their way to terror groups?"
Armory with machine guns, rifles and shotguns
The report further stated that the consulate has an armory with machine guns, rifles and shotguns, without permission from the Israeli authorities, although Israel is aware of the issue.
The anti-Israeli character of the consulate today is clear, according to the report: the most senior adviser is a Palestinian Arab, Ibrahim Delalsh, who sat in Israeli prison for belonging to Fatah-linked terror groups. Another advisor is a relative of one of the leaders of Hamas in Jerusalem, Muhammad Hassan Abu Tir, who has been in and out of Israeli prisons many times.
While diplomats at the Consulate live in Jewish areas of western Jerusalem, they consider themselves "American Ambassadors in Palestine," according to the report. Its armored vehicles often move to and from Judea and Samaria, its people have contacts with the Palestinian Authority and it takes part in surveillance over construction of Jewish communities in the region.
The Consulate said in response: "The US Consulate General in Jerusalem has full confidence in the professionalism of its staff. We do not discuss the security of our diplomatic mission but note that there are many inaccuracies here. In addition, we coordinate our work with local authorities to the fullest."
However, the report follows a serious breach of that coordination several weeks ago, when Consulate officials entered the Samaria community of Adei Ad with guards armed with M-16s without permission - and nearly caused an international incident.