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The U.S. official supervising the establishment of a Palestinian security force told lawmakers he was “frustrated” by the lack of progress. Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton met in Israel recently with U.S. Reps. Steve Kagen (D-Wisc.), Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) and Steve Lynch (D-Mass.).

“Dayton gave us an update on efforts to train Palestinian police to help police their communities and better serve their nation,” Kagen told JTA last week. “He shared with us his frustrations at lack of progress and was concerned that all parties involved needed to increase their efforts.” Dayton is known to be unhappy with Israel for not allowing equipment to reach the Palestinian Authority security force and for continuing to usurp its duties through raids into areas ostensibly under Palestinian security control. Coincidentally, Israeli and Palestinian security officials met Aug. 5 to discuss how Israel may ease restrictions for the Palestinians.

“The Palestinians expressed appreciation for having the ability to act independently as part of the recent campaign for improving public order in the region,” an Israeli army statement said. Israeli officials “stated that such activity should continue in order to fight terror and crime within the Palestinian Authority.” Kagen, who is Jewish, said he would support continued U.S. funding for training the P.A. force. The congressional delegation also toured Sderot, the Israeli town worst affected by rockets fired by Gaza Strip-based terrorists, visiting bomb shelters and reinforced schools.

“Is there a limit as to how a nation can defend itself from unprovoked attacks?” Kagen said. “How many missiles would the U.S. tolerate from Cuba to South Florida?”

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