The international community regularly paints Israel as an oppressor of the Palestinian Arabs, but Saturday's reactions to the deployment of 600 Palestinian Authority police officers to the lawless northern Samaria town of Jenin painted a different picture.
The newly trained and heavily armed police force was greeted by thousands of grateful cheering local residents who told The Jerusalem Post that they had grown despondent living under the tyranny of anarchy on streets ruled by terrorist thugs and criminal gangs.
Force commander Gen. Diab Ali announced that the arrival of the new officers meant an unceasing war on local crime. He insisted that from now on only Palestinian Authority police officers were to be armed, and demanded that everyone else hand in their weapons.
Betraying the fact that the new security efforts have little to do with the Palestinian Authority's peace obligations to Israel, Ali publicly honored local residents who had died in attacks on Israelis.
In related news, US President George W. Bush on Friday asked Congress for an additional $200 million of US taxpayers' dollars to fund the training and equipping of more Palestinian troops and to help bolster the corruption-ridden Palestinian economy.