Israel has allowed 90 armed, uniformed Palestinian Authority police officers to deploy in four Arab suburbs of Jerusalem – Abu Dis, Azariyeh, Ram and Biddou – which have a combined population of 130,000.
These areas fell outside the jurisdiction of Israeli civil police, leaving a vacuum that drew car thieves and drug dealers.
Israel has permitted Palestinian police to return to catch scores of fugitive criminals and break up the criminal activity.
Local residents cheered the decision. Ram Mayor Ali Maslamani said, “We expect to see a new era in our town, an era of law and order after a long period of lawlessness.”
Israel has significantly eased restrictions on Palestinian movement imposed after the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in 2000. Some 400,000 older West Bank residents can enter Israel and east Jerusalem without special permits, while the number of Palestinians permitted to work in Israel has expanded to 53,000.