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U.S. calls for "functioning" forces in Palestinian territories
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09:16, July 11, 2007

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The United States called on Tuesday for building up "functioning, capable, responsible Palestinian security forces" rather than an international force in the Palestinian territories.

"The focus should be on building up functioning, capable, responsible Palestinian security forces that are capable of functioning" in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

On Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas' proposal for the deployment of an international force in the Gaza Strip, McCormack said the proposal would be studied.

However, the spokesman added, "I'm not sure that you're going to find too many forces willing to go into what I expect is a nonpermissive environment."

Militants of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) have been controlling Gaza after overruning the security forces loyal to Abbas in mid-June.

Proposing the deployment of an international force in the Gaza Strip, Abbas said Tuesday that the international military presence could guarantee the delivery of humanitarian aid and allow free movement of people.

It was reported that 10 Mediterranean countries, namely Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Romania, were seeking to create an international force to police the Palestinian territories.

Source: Xinhua



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