From David Ignatius Washington Post column tomorrow. (Sunday December 7):
...His first challenge was to persuade the Israelis to allow the Palestinian security forces to operate more aggressively....When the Palestinians proposed in May to deploy their first newly trained battalion to the unruly city of Jenin, the Israelis agreed. The Palestinians performed better than the Israelis expected....
Next, the Palestinians wanted to deploy their forces to the southern city of Hebron -- a double challenge because it is home for militant Israeli settlers as well as a stronghold of the radical Palestinian group Hamas. The Israelis at first balked, but by late October they had agreed to allow the Palestinians to share responsibility for security in the city. Since then, Palestinians have arrested 250 suspected Hamas members, as well as about 150 smugglers and thugs. They also uncovered a Hamas ammunition dump in a tunnel -- and informed the Israelis, who promptly destroyed it.
Jones explained in an interview why the security initiative is working. The Israeli approach is, "If they will do more, we will do less," he says. "That has built upon itself. There is more trust and confidence, with the Palestinians moving up the ladder to higher-end missions." I asked Jones what his role as Middle East envoy showed about how he would operate as national security adviser. "I spend a lot of time talking to people, getting others to buy in," he explained"