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Abbas' security forces deployed in W. Bank town Nablus
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10:22, November 03, 2007

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' security forces on Friday finalized its redeployment in the northern West Bank town of Nablus in coordination with Israel, local Palestinian officials said.

Col. Abu Jihad, security intelligence chief in the town told reporters that the Palestinian security forces deployed 308 troops in the old city of Nablus and its downtown.

It was the first time, since Israel reoccupied the city in a large-scale military operation called the Defensive Shield in 2002,that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) redeployed its security forces in the city.

Caretaker Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in a short statement that it was agreed with Israel to redeploy 308 police officers in Nablus to restore security.

"If Nablus example succeeds, our security forces would redeployin more West bank cities," said Fayyad.

However, local Ma'ariv newspaper quoted Israeli army generals as saying that the security control on Nablus "is still in the hands of the Israeli army."

Israeli officers said the Palestinian forces in Nablus will discharge security responsibility from 6:00 in the morning to 12:00 midnight. But from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 the next morning, the Israeli army has the right to enter Nablus, said the report.

Palestinian intelligence security chief in the West Bank, Tawfiq Tirawi, told reporters that the PNA has the ability to restore full security in Nablus "as well as the rest of the towns Israel would withdraw from, including Jerusalem."

"In case Israel prevent a full redeployment of our security forces, this means Israel is, on purpose, thwarting our authority, in order to show the world our disability, and then justifies postponing more redeployment," said Tirawi.


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