IPCRI and Konrad Adenauer Foundation Sponsor New Cooperative Program Between PA Police And Israeli Police




From May 2 - 10, 1998 a delegation of senior Israeli and Palestinian police officers traveled to Germany together for a joint course on security and police problems and solutions as designed in Europe. The delegation met with senior German and European police personnel including the German intelligence chiefs, the German Chief of Staff, the Minister for State Security, heads of investigations divisions, Interpol and Europol personnel.

One interesting story that came out of the ten days together was discovered in an Italian restaurant in Bonn when the policemen in a relaxed atmosphere began sharing stories of their personal history. Palestinian Colonel Mohammed Rajab described the period of the Israeli siege on Ein al Hilwe refugee camp in Lebanon during the early days of the Lebanese War in 1992. Colonel Rajab was a commander in Ein al Hilwe who ordered his troops to fight fiercely against the invading Israelis and not to surrender. Eventually the camp fell, Colonel Rajab was wounded by gun fire from an Israeli tank. With no medical supplies, Colonel Rajab treated his own wounds in his legs. He managed to escape the bunker and crawled to a deserted farm house several kilometers outside of the camp. There, he found no food or water, only bottles of Coca Cola which kept him alive for several days until his wife succeeded in getting medical help.

Chief Inspector Jihad Kabalan was an Israeli tank commander during the war leading the attack on Ein al Hilwe. Jihad was also wounded in the battle, perhaps by gun fire coming from Colonel Rajab. Sixteen years later, these two warriors came to develop a bond of friendship developed during their study mission as Israeli and Palestinian policemen working together, seeking peace and hoping for a time when Israelis and Palestinians will share bonds of friendship with roots in peace rather than war. Today they are both stationed on opposite sides of the Gaza Erez crossing.

The delegation was headed by IPCRI directors Zakaria al Qaq and Gershon Baskin.

The Police personnel include:

Palestinians:

Colonel Awni Samara - Investigations, West Bank
Colonel Mohammed Abu Salah - Theft and Investigations, West Bank
Colonel Mohammed Rajab - Border Police, Erez Check point, Gaza

Israelis:

Commander Anton Ayoub - Head of Liaison to Palestinian Police and Head of Investigations, West Bank Division
Chief Inspector Jihad Kabalan - Border Police, Commander of Erez Crossing
Chief Inspector Baruch Maryuma - Northern District Traffic Command

This was the first course of its type ever. IPCRI is hopeful that increased cooperation between the police forces of Israel and the PA can contribute a small step in the director of a better peace and greater understanding between the two peoples.

This program had the full support and backing of the commanders of the Israeli and Palestinian police.



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