For about five years, the United States has been funding and training new Palestinian security forces that now are a visible presence on the West Bank streets. In a previously unthinkable arrangement, these Palestinian forces are working shoulder to shoulder with its occupier, the Israeli military, to root out a common enemy: Hamas. The group, classified by the U.S. as a terrorist group and bent on the destruction of Israel, has largely been silenced in the West Bank. There hasn’t been a suicide bombing in Israel for about three years. And the West Bank’s economy is blooming.
But with checkpoints, Israeli incursions into the West Bank and a growing community of Israeli settlers protected by Israeli troops, the average Palestinian in the West Bank is constantly reminded they are living under occupation. Many people we spoke to say this calm is fragile and could explode at any time.
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