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Cablegate: Pa Justice Sector Efforts Progressing In

VZCZCXRO4019
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1824 2731459
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291459Z SEP 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2931
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001824

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NSC FOR ABRAMS/RAMCHAND/PASCUAL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV EAID KWBG KPAL CA IS
SUBJECT: PA JUSTICE SECTOR EFFORTS PROGRESSING IN
INFRASTRUCTURE, STAFFING

REF: GMP20080923745003

1. (SBU) Summary. Since the May 29 signing of its Justice
Sector Strategy (JSS), the PA has progressed in implementing
several areas of the plan: infrastructure, staffing, and case
backlog reduction. PM Fayyad highlighted this progress in
recent press statements (ref A). End Summary.

Infrastructure
--------------

2. (SBU) Chief Justice Issa Abu Sharar told PolSpec on
September 25 that construction of the Jericho and Jenin
courthouses has been completed this year, while expansion of
the facility in Bethlehem is underway. The JSS calls for
additional construction in Hebron, Tulkarem, Qalqiliya, and
Ramallah. Courthouse construction is being undertaken by the
Government of Canada. On prisons, Abu Sharar said
construction had not yet taken place but that the plan calls
for three central prisons located regionally in the north,
south, and central areas of the West Bank.

Staffing
--------

3. (SBU) In comments to Palestinian daily Al Ayyam September
23, PM Fayyad highlighted new funding for 70 additional
judges and 100 additional court clerks in support of the JSS.
Abu Sharar said that, over the course of the three-year
plan, the JSS calls for 217 new judges, of which 46 have been
appointed to date. The plan calls for an additional 782
clerks and support staff to be added by 2010; 177 are already
on board.

Case Backlog
------------

4. (SBU) Fayyad also noted an increase in the number of
sentences implemented. The Attorney General's office had not
compiled statistics to illustrate the increased
implementation of sentences, but is working to produce that
information. Chief Justice Abu Sharar told PolSpec that, as
of late August, 60,434 cases were pending before the court
and approximately 50,000 cases had been closed year-to-date.

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