This research is dedicated to look in-depth at the consequences of police partiality and Polarization in eroding police legitimacy. It argues that police deviances and human rights violation have a great influence on the Palestinian’s readiness for statehood. The establishment of the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) embraces many characteristics that have a remarkable influence on its performance up to the present. Such features include its military style, and the politicization of the police. These features have provoked a discussion on the way the PCP attempts to strike a balance between meeting the Palestinian expectation of defending their country but also to counter the so-called “terrorism” directed against Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory. Such complexity of police function has contributed to police brutality, corruption and politicisation, which in turn, has decreased police legitimacy in the eyes of the public. As a result, the erosion of police legitimacy has become a great challenge for the efforts of police reforms.
This study suggests that legitimating authority must rely on public trust and confidence instead of force and cruelty. The PCP’s legitimacy may be more secured if progress in domestic Palestinian reconciliation takes place in the future. Shifting up to a higher degree of fairness and effectiveness in policing, as well as, the integration of political opponents into the police organization would help to restore police legitimacy.
Based on governmental documents and other reports published by civil society groups, this paper provides unique insights into the context in which police legitimacy is conferred. This should be of great interest to decision makers, researchers, and international donors.