‘US Consulate in Jerusalem arming Palestinian guards’

A photo of Palestinian supporters raising a t-shirt to the US Consulate General sign in Jerusalem on September 21, 2011 (photo credit: AP Photo/ Dusan Vranic)

The US Consulate in Jerusalem is training a force of 35 Palestinians from East Jerusalem to serve as armed guards, particularly for consular trips to the West Bank’s Area A, which is off-limits to Israelis, it was reported on Wednesday.

The arrangement violates a 2011 agreement between Israel and the consulate, the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth stated, whereby only IDF combat veterans would be authorized to carry arms as consulate guards.

“The consulate was authorized to keep roughly 100 handguns for security staff, on condition that they be either American diplomats or Israeli army veterans,” the paper’s Itamar Eichner wrote.

Additionally, Israeli guards at the consulate alleged that the Palestinians were being trained with firearms in Jericho at a Palestinian Preventative Security base and in the United States…

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