Who guards Mahmoud Abbas?


Turns out, it’s Israel. Sometimes, anyway.

From Ha’aretz:

According to an agreement between Israel and the PA, a team from the Shin Bet’s VIP security unit accompanies Abbas and Fayyad whenever they are in Area C, meaning that part of the West Bank that is under full Israeli control according to the Oslo accords.

On Tuesday, for instance, Fayyad visited several villages near Nablus to inaugurate new wells. Because the trip going back and forth between Area C and Area B (where Israel has security control but the PA is in charge of civilian matters), Fayyad’s convoy also included an Israel Police patrol car, representatives of Israel’s Civil Administration and a jeep full of Shin Bet bodyguards. These guards were responsible for Fayyad’s security in Area C, while his Palestinian bodyguards – members of the PA’s Presidential Guard – took over in Area B.

Israel Defense Forces sources told Haaretz that the security procedures for guarding Abbas and Fayyad on their trips through the West Bank stem from Israel’s desire to avoid having armed Palestinian guards open fire in Area C should their charges come under attack.

The same procedures are in effect when foreign dignitaries visit the West Bank: The Shin Bet guards them in Area C, and the PA takes over in Areas B and A (the latter is the area under full Palestinian control). The Shin Bet also guards Abbas when he visits Israel proper.

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