With U.S. support, President Mahmoud Abbas is overhauling Palestinian security forces by decree. About 30 000 security jobs will be shed, according to Reuters. The plain-clothes Preventive Security Forces are given broad powers, and many of the changes have been carried out with little public accountability.
After the breakdown of the national unity cabinet and the paralysis of the Hamas-led Legislative Council, Abbas and the cabinet has issued a string of orders and decrees on a number of issues. Critics are concerned at increasing tendencies of abuse by forces in the Fatah-dominated West Bank as in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights has warned that the state of lawlessness has shifted to a police state.
Read: Reuters, “EXCLUSIVE-By decree, Abbas overhauls his security forces,” 20 June 2008, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L12393889.htm
Read: Reuters, “FACTBOX-Abbas grants broad powers to force reviled by Hamas,” 20 June 2008, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L16322830.htm