U.S. Assistance Plan Will Not Supply Weapons to Abbas' Guard

Dayton Plan to help create office headed by national security adviser Dahlan to coordinate Abbas' security forces.

The Dayton Plan for training and reinforcing the Palestinian Presidential Guard loyal to Palestinian Authority Chair Mahmoud Abbas includes assisting in the formation of a new office to be headed by Abbas' national security adviser, Mohammed Dahlan, but stipulates that money given to the PA must not be used to purchase weapons.

Dahlan's new security apparatus will lead the security reforms with the Americans' assistance.

It will also coordinate the activities of all other security forces loyal to the PA chairman.

The plan was devised by Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, the American security coordinator in the region.

The plan includes providing the Presidential Guard with non-lethal equipment and enhancing the capabilities of its soldiers.

Congress has approved a special budget of $59 million for implementation of the Dayton Plan. It has, however, stipulated that the money must not be used for the purchase of firearms.

According to the budget request, the funds will not be transferred directly to the Palestinians. Instead, they are to be used by the Presidential Guard for the procurement of services.

The costliest clause in the budget, amounting to $20 million, will be dedicated to the procurement of "non-lethal equipment."

A senior Western source told Haaretz on Monday that the Dayton Plan did not include the supply of weapons for the Presidential Guard at all.

The source added that the U.S. coordinator did not arrange for any sort of arms shipment within the plan's framework.

The ranks of the Presidential Guard are made up of some 3,000 soldiers in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Dayton Plan, they will be deployed around various strategic facilities in the PA.

In addition, the soldiers in the force will be entrusted with the personal security of Abbas and with securing various government buildings.

They will also ensure the security of foreign dignitaries visiting the PA and Chairman Abbas.

A contingent of the presidential forces will be stationed at the Karni and Rafah crossings into Israel and Egypt, respectively.

The force is not, however, expected to engage in attempts to foil arms smuggling from Sinai into the Gaza Strip.

It also will not participate in efforts to prevent militants from firing Qassam rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip.