This article explores police-society relations by assessing the impact of current state-building efforts by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank. The article presents an outline of the emerging civilian policing model and its wider implications for citizens' rights and the dominant political order. The specific focus of the paper rests on an examination of the potential tensions associated with the perceived need for strong coercive security structures (including the civil police) as part of state-building efforts and the desire by the population for increased freedom and pluralism. This issue is further complicated by the ambiguous nature of the current experiment in limited autonomy underway in those areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip where Israeli redeployment has taken place.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
In the absence of an International Police Assistance Programme the experiment in policing in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has been supported by the Donor Community assisting the Palestinian Autonomy project under the Oslo and Cairo Accords. Annex 1 of the Cairo Accords stipulated that finance would be jointly administered with Israel's approval. The disbursement of funds, notwithstanding difficulties mentioned earlier in this article, eventually came forth, and the police and security services are now in receipt of funds from the donor community. Indeed, it is questionable whether the service would survive in its current guise if it was dependent on funding raised locally through revenues from taxation. This raises an important question about the impact that the international community can have in helping to determine and shape the Palestinian state-building effort through the donation of funds, assistance, and equipment. Britain, for example, pledged £4.25 million in bilateral assistance to policing for 1994-5 and 1996-7. This compares to the £9 million in aid that Britain contributed to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which is charged with providing services and support to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Thus, there is no doubt that the donor community has provided importance financial assistance in this area. However, funding
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes