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Israeli army officers 'urge government to strengthen PA'

Dec. 8, 2011 10:47 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 9, 2011 3:17 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Senior Israeli army officials say the Israeli government should strengthen the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority to avoid Hamas gains in elections next year, the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv reported Thursday.

Israeli officers advocate giving more permits for Palestinians in the West Bank to work in Israel, approving job creation programs and opening more roads between cities in the West Bank, the report says.

Coordination between PA security forces and Israel must be preserved, army officers told Maariv, adding that PA forces contributed to the "war on terror" in addition to maintaining law and order.

But officers say Israel should focus on civil programs in the West Bank in order to stop Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, gaining a foothold in the West Bank in elections next year, the report said.

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