Mission Palestine


The EU is training the Palestinian police and its judges to try to overcome the problems faced by a divided and disputed land.

The field exercise is about to start and the Palestinian police officers are ready. They’re supposed to move in after what is apparently a suicide, not a murder. A French police officer explains how they created the fake crime scene with a dummy covered in blood, a toppled chair, a knife by the body and a suicide note. The door opens and a first officer checks the victim’s pulse and confirms death, then radios headquarters and asks for the forensic team to be called in.

“The first thing they had to do was to check whether the person was dead or alive. And they did it correctly, though they should have worn latex gloves to open the door to avoid contaminating the evidence”, explains French police officer Jérome Buaillon.

He works for EUPOL COPPS, the European Union Police Mission in the Palestinian Territories, which has been training the Palestinian police force for the last ten years. The mission involves officers from a total of 21 European Union member states as well as from Canada, Norway and Turkey. During the hot and humid morning in Tulkarem (a Palestinian city in the northern reaches of the West Bank), the Palestinian officers now have another exercise scheduled. A special team is going to move in and arrest a criminal hiding out in an abandoned cottage. 

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