HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports” Travels To the West Bank To Investigate the Success of the Palestinian Security Forces

Colette Carey
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Who is behind the support and training of these local forces? The answer may surprise you.

DALLAS (February 14, 2011) – Tuesday’s “Dan Rather Reports” travels to the West Bank, a place previously known as one of the more dangerous places in the world, but now surprisingly calm in the face of the tumult shaking the Middle East – thanks in part to a little-known U.S. military program.

For about five years, the United States has been quietly 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 organization 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 Rather spoke to say this calm is fragile and could explode at any time.

Rather and his crews met with Salaam Fayyad, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Dan Meridor, Jewish settlers in the West Bank and were granted exclusive access as the first American camera crew to be invited to the U.S.-funded training center for Palestinian forces in Jericho.

“Dan Rather Reports: A Precarious Peace” premieres on HDNet, Tuesday, February 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET with an encore at 11:00 p.m. ET.

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