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Israel eyes P.A. police in Jenin

Israel may allow the Palestinian Authority to deploy hundreds of paramilitary police in Jenin.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is considering a P.A. request to post between 500 and 600 policemen in Jenin, a deployment mirroring that authorized by Israel last year in another major West Bank city, Nablus.

Israeli defense officials said Barak would discuss the issue Wednesday with P.A. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

The Palestinian Authority has been trying to show it can impose order in the West Bank following its loss of the Gaza Strip to rival Hamas Islamists.

Nablus and Jenin, once terrorist hotbeds, have largely been quiet in recent weeks, though Israel continues to mount occasional security raids. The deployment of the P.A. forces is part of a strategy favored by the United States in parallel with peace talks.

“It’s clear to everyone that in order to help the prospects and the entire atmosphere of the talks with the Palestinians, we must exhaust every means, provided it does not compromise security,” Barak said Tuesday.

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