The challenges of EU mission to train Palestinian police

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For the past ten years, a European Union-funded mission in the West Bank is training the Palestinian police in modern policing methods. With police instructors from EU member states, the EUPOL COPPS mission is aimed at building an effective police force ahead of the possible creation of a Palestinian state. But the challenges are vast, and the programme’s future is uncertain. Mediapart correspondent Chloé Demoulin reports from the West Bank mission, beginning with the unusual scene of a lesson by French riot police on how to disperse a peaceful sit-in.

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“Your work must serve to defuse the situation, no tear gas, no truncheons,” said Philippe Le Marre, a member of the French CRS crowd control police, addressing an audience of Palestinian police officers in the gym of their police academy in the West Bank city of Jericho. “The best weapon that you have is your brain,” he added.