Palestinian police will come to Israel to study riot control methods in order to quell future demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli news reports.
About two dozen Palestinian police officers will be taught how to fire rubber bullets, train water hoses on crowds and chase demonstrators, both the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot and Army Radio reported last week.
The Palestine Liberation Organization was quick to deny the reports.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for PLO leader Yasser Arafat, called the reports “absolutely false.”
Maj. Gen. Ghazi Al-Jabali, the Gaza police commander, also issued a denial.
“We have many professional and well-qualified police, and we don’t need training like this,” he said.
The riot-control training was to start last week, in what was to be the first of a series of daylong seminars for Palestinian officers at an Israeli police school in the town of Shfaram in northern Israel, Israeli media said.
Israeli police officers confirmed the report, but would not comment further.
But Israeli Radio later reported that the Palestinian Authority requested that the course be delayed at least two weeks because of the media reports.