PRC Spokesman: Future Operations Against the Enemy will be ‘Thorn in Israel’s Throat’

Abu Mujahid, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees. Al-Akhbar/Marwan Tahtah

By: Qassem Qassem

Published Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Abu Mujahid, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, was a guest of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon. During his visit, Israel assassinated Hezbollah resistance fighters in the province of Quneitra in Syria. Abu Mujahid attended their funerals. The Lebanese resistance and Palestinian resistance are part of one body, he says. Before his return to Gaza, Al-Akhbarconducted this interview with him.

The Popular Resistance Committees is a Palestinian coalition formed after the second Aqsa Intifada in 2000. Several operations were carried out by its military wing, the al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades. Most notable among these operations is the the first bombing of the Israeli Merkava tank, in addition to “Operation Dispelled Illusion,” during which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was captured and three secretary-generals were assassinated.

Al-Akhbar: What is your take on the assassination of Hezbollah fighters in the Syrian province of Quneitra?

Abu Mujahid: This is a serious escalation. The Israeli occupation does not like to see calm in the region. Israel will realize that assassinating this large number of martyrs in Quneitra was a foolish act and will have consequences. The blood of the martyrs, and the blood of Jihad, the son of martyred commander Imad Mughniyeh, will only further motivate the resistance.

AA: What about the timing of the operation?

AM: The Israeli entity is facing a dilemma. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chances in the upcoming elections decreased after the latest war [in Gaza]. This operation was an attempt on his part to throw the ball into the resistance’s court, to elicit a response from it and drag it into a new war, through which he can achieve his goals. Past experiences have shown that targeting the resistance for electoral purposes — be it Hezbollah or in Palestine — ends in defeat. It happened before to Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres, and it will happen to Netanyahu. The occupation wanted to deliver a message. The resistance will not be silent, and it will certainly respond.

AA: You engaged in a 50-day war in Gaza to improve living conditions. What is the current situation in the Gaza Strip today?

AM: Gazans are living under severe and harsh conditions. Their situation is much worse than it was after the war in 2012, because what was agreed upon in Cairo was not implemented. The Israeli enemy did not abide by the terms of the agreement, which remained verbal and were not signed by any party. This reflected negatively on the Gaza Strip, especially on those whose homes were destroyed and were left to suffer during the recent storm. It is sad to see what we have come to — especially since we remained steadfast for 52 days, during which we used all our capabilities.

AA: Who is responsible for the current state of affairs?

AM:The politicians bear the responsibility for not fulfilling our demands. The resistance feels abandoned over what has happened. We were at the height of our military creativity, and politicians did not manage to convert our field achievements into gains for the people. They could have taken advantage of our achievements, and we could have exerted more pressure on the enemy, and taken the battle to Israel to achieve our demands.

AA:Did you have the capabilities to continue the war for over 50 days?

AM: We had the capabilities to continue fighting for months, and the enemy’s claim about degrading our capabilities and destroying our infrastructure was not true. I am able to confirm this fact based on my knowledge of the operations on the ground.

AA: Were you in contact with Hezbollah during the war?

AM: We maintained communication with our brothers in the Islamic Resistance (Hezbollah) and the brothers in the Islamic Republic of Iran. We were in contact with them before, during, and after the war, especially with the leaders concerned with the Palestinian file. I can confirm that support did not cease, from the beginning to the end of the war.

AA: Do you mean military or moral support in the war?

AM: I mean both military and material support.

AA: After Egypt’s establishment of a buffer zone with Gaza, are you finding it difficult to bring weapons to the Strip?

AM: It has been really difficult, but the Palestinian determination and the efforts of the sons of the resistance to secure weapons to protect our people will not cease. These efforts did not and will not cease, whether through our brothers abroad, namely Hezbollah and Iran, or through our brothers at home.

AA: Are you preparing for any future battle?

AM: The resistance began to develop its capabilities immediately after the war. We finished the restoration phase and started the development phase. Today, we rely on our own capabilities.

AA: Were the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) affected by the disagreement between Hamas and the axis of resistance?

AM: Hezbollah and Iran did not stop supporting the resistance factions, and as far as I know, support for the al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’ military arm) continued even during the contention and suspension of relations between the Hamas political leadership and the axis of resistance. On the political front, the dispute reflected negatively on the Palestinian cause as a whole. If this was a tactic by Hamas, it should not have been used with brothers who provided unconditional support for nothing in exchange. We should maintain a strategic relationship with our brothers in the party and Iran, because we share a common reality. The resistance axis offered us all kind of support. No Arab country — including the close and distant ones — considers Palestine a central cause, in the way that Iran does.

AA: The disagreement affected public opinion in Gaza. Frankly, is Hezbollah seen as a sectarian party?

AM: The Palestinian people and society are non-sectarian, in general. If Hezbollah is viewed with a sectarian eye, it would be due to negative propagation from within the organization. Palestinians do not have a sectarian mentality because the people have a cause and live under occupation. When someone offers us support without dictates, we should thank them. The sectarian discourse is not employed by all Palestinians.

AA: What about the alleged disagreement within Hamas between the fighters and politicians, especially with regard to the relationship with Hezbollah and Iran?

AM: There is a clear consensus within Hamas. The decision by the military and political leadership to restore the relationship with the axis of resistance was not made under pressure, but out of conviction. The brothers (Hamas) realized the mistake they made by not thanking Hezbollah and Iran, which led Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Ubaidah to thank the two parties in a speech. The speech had special significance, because Hamas’ fighters received the military support, and the political leadership in Gaza backed the fighters, which means that they approve of this expression of gratitude.

AA: How is armament related to the number of fighters in the factions?

AM: Armament is based on the number of fighters on the ground. For example, there are 3,000 PRC fighters on the ground, 5,000 from the Islamic Jihad, and 10,000 from Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. Armament was sometimes disproportionate with the number of fighters on the ground and exceeded the set limit.

AA: Are you seeking to train your military cadres outside Gaza?

AM: A large number of field commanders received advanced training abroad. As for training youths outside of Gaza, the decision is linked to the security situation. We have no intention to get involved in matters that might impede the work of the resistance.

AA: What do you think about Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s statement that Hezbollah will dedicate their time to supporting the Palestinian resistance?

AM: Based on our experience with our brothers in Hezbollah, Sayyed Nasrallah’s words will certainly translate into actions on the ground, because he fulfills his promises.

AA:The number of operations in the occupied West Bank have increased recently. Is there a prospect for new commando operations?

AM: Our people will find the appropriate means to fight the occupation. The recent operations were a source of concern for the Palestinian Authority (PA). PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s inability to find a solution, his promotion of illusions, in addition to the political deadlock, will provoke popular anger in the West Bank and help create a fertile ground for the resistance, which will result in military operations.

AA: Is there a decision among the factions regarding these operations?

AM: Some were carried out based on a decision by the factions, and others through a personal decision. The two compliment each other. In the end, these are resistance efforts. We expect future operations against the enemy in the West Bank to be the most excruciating thorn in Israel’s throat.

AA: But has armament in the West Bank begun?

AM: This is a very sensitive issue. The incidents in the West Bank did not happen in isolation from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s statements on the need to provide arms to the West Bank, if successive operations take place in a short period of time. It was a powerful message which the occupation understood.

AA: During the uprising in 2000, the al-Aqsa Brigades (Fatah) were the most capable of launching attacks from the West Bank. But after the dismantling of the brigades and other factions, who will assume the leading role there?

AM: We will not necessarily adopt the same modus operandi as before. The resistance may adopt a new approach to carrying out operations during the next stage, and the factions will not necessarily be the ones to fight the occupation in the West Bank.

AA: What about the return of the dismissed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan to the Gaza Strip and his alleged coordination with Hamas?

AM: We are a resistance faction that aims to strengthen the resistance front in Gaza. The issue of Dahlan and Hamas is complicated, and we do not wish to go into it. There is conflicting information about the relationship between Dahlan and Hamas. Thus, we do not want to comment until we understand what is really happening, be it a strategic or tactical relationship.

AA: Do you think Dahlan will be elected as president?

AM: The Palestinian people are conscious enough not to do that.

AA: Will there be a future war on Gaza?

AM: The social situation is very bad and will likely explode soon.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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Is a coup being plotted against PA President Abbas?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends an extraordinary meeting with the members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after the death of Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein who died due to the tear gas which was fired by Israeli police during a demonstration on December 10, 2014. Anadolu Agency/Rimawi Issam
Published Friday, December 19, 2014
While the Palestinian Authority (PA) fights a battle at the Security Council, there is fire in Ramallah burning under the embers. PA President Mahmoud Abbas faces a test of leadership within the Mukataa, the president’s headquarters, amid overlapping political and personal issues. This suggests Abbas may be on the cusp of implementing a number of decisions to sack figures who are no longer toeing his political line, especially since his phobias about conspiracies targeting him have shifted from his known opponents to figures who were once close to Abbas.
Gaza – Just like there is no smoke without fire, there can be no sudden security measures and movements in the media without a real, if not also a major, dispute. In Ramallah, there is an open-ended battle now between PA President Mahmoud Abbas on the one hand, and PLO Secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo and former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, on the other. The dispute is added to the major rivalry with expelled Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, who has emerged as a kind of a Trojan horse in the Palestinian political landscape, slipping in through the cracks that have started to appear. For the first time in eight years, his supporters are appearing in public in Gaza carrying his portraits, with Hamas’ consent.
It is a Fatah-Fatah message from Dahlan to Abbas. Dahlan said what is happening is the first step to “break the silence after we patiently put up for long with the deviant approach of the small tyrant.” It is also a message from Hamas to blackmail Abbas, taking advantage of Dahlan’s tentacles that extend to the Gulf and Egypt.

Dahlan said what is happening is the first step to “break the silence after we patiently put up for long with the deviant approach of the small tyrant.”

 For his part, Yasser Abed Rabbo is a new-old foe. The most recent confrontation with Rabbo erupted when Abbas-affiliated TV host Maher Shalabi accused Abed Rabbo, Dahlan, and Fayyad of meeting in secret with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the UAE. The accusations, which were made on Shalabi’s program on the official Palestine TV channel, were enough to further fuel the fire that has been raging between Abbas and Abed Rabbo for more than three years. Abed Rabbo responded to the claims in a sharp tone, saying,

“[…] what Shalabi said is a deterioration and is meant to disrupt the patriotic line we defend in light of the aggression on Gaza, the reconciliation [with Hamas], and the battle at the Security Council.”

Abed Rabbo under siege
Abbas did not wait long to exploit the accusations Shalabi mentioned to clip Abed Rabbo’s wings. Abbas stripped Abed Rabbo of his duties related to the PLO’s financial allocations (Abed Rabbo’s real role was always a mystery, being a very powerful figure within the PLO despite not being affiliated to Fatah).
However, Fatah Executive Committee member Ghassan Shaka denies that there is a link between the differences between Abbas and Abed Rabbo, and stripping the latter of his financial and administrative duties.
Speaking to Al-Akhbar, Shaka said, “Stripping the secretariat of the Executive Committee of functions that are originally entrusted to the Palestinian National Fund is not a political issue. There is no need for an intermediary to handle financial allocations.” Shaka added, “An office was opened for the National Fund in the West Bank run by Ramzi Khoury. All financial matters were referred to the Fund recently.”
Shaka continued, “Abed Rabbo continues to serve, and was present at the most recent meeting of the Palestinian leadership to discuss the move at the Security Council.” Furthermore, Shaka defended Abed Rabbo by saying. “[He is one of the] figures who steers clear of maneuvering,” noting at the same time that the sacking of an Executive Committee member is not in the hands of the president alone, but involves “legal steps that govern accepting or rejecting dismissals and resignations.”
Despite Shaka’s statements, there are signs that the exclusion of Abed Rabbo from the political front is imminent, though no presidential decree in this regard has been issued yet. However, the move by the head of the anti-corruption court, Rafik Natsheh, to tackle corruption in civil society organizations prepares solid ground for Abbas to banish the mastermind behind the Geneva Initiative on grounds related to graft. Abed Rabbo heads a civil society organization, the Peace Alliance, which he established in 2000 following the initiative, and so does Salam Fayyad, who heads Palestine Tomorrow, a very active civil society organization.
Reports of Natsheh’s move agree with statements made by Al-Akhbarsources, who said, “The president’s decision (financial referral) has entered into force, despite Abbas being certain that the most recent security report related to the secret meeting in the UAE is inaccurate.” The sources continued, “[Abbas] is considering two options to get rid of Abed Rabbo, either by sacking him directly, or preparing charges of financial corruption against him.”

“[Abbas] is considering two options to get rid of Abed Rabbo, either by sacking him directly, or preparing charges of financial corruption against him.” –Al-Akhbarsources

 The second solution is the most probable in light of the position of the leadership, as the first option would bypass the decisions of the National Council. In this regard, member of the Executive Committee Jamil Shehadeh told Al-Akhbar, “The National Council was not convened yet as the party in charge of deciding on dismissals. Furthermore, the meetings of the Committee did not discuss anything about sharp disputes between the two sides at all,” noting that the disputes are just “differences in opinion.”
Abed Rabbo does not have any official capacity in the PA, which makes it difficult to force him to retire, as happened with Jamal Zaqout days ago, Zaqout being a close associate of Abed Rabbo. On December 8, Abbas issued a presidential decree forcing Zaqout to retire. Zaqout was adviser to former PA Prime Minister Fayyad for six years, and member of the final status negotiations delegation led by Abed Rabbo. Al-Akhbar contacted Zaqout, who refused to speak in detail about the sudden measure, but said, “This is a very arbitrary decision, because it was made without explaining the real reasons.”
The background of the disputes
The dispute between Abbas and Abed Rabbo dates back to September 2011, when the former accused the latter of trying to disrupt his political efforts for international recognition of Palestinian statehood. Abed Rabbo and Fayyad were accused of hinting to Arab capitals that the PA president was not serious about obtaining recognition. Following a battle of statements and counter-statements, Abbas removed functions related to overseeing the official PA media including radio and television from Abed Rabbo, describing what happened as a “stab in the back at a critical historical moment.”
The breaking point came a short time later, when Abed Rabbo and Fayyad declined to participate in a Palestinian delegation tasked with relaying Abbas’ message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, something that observers saw as the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” At the time, the dispute reached a peak, and Abbas barred Palestine TV from hosting Abed Rabbo and Fayyad, before he removed the ban for a period of time. Now, the ban is in place again.
This has happened despite the fact that Abed Rabbo has been one of the leading “peace doves” and advocates of normalization with Israel and the United States, since he was appointed to the PLO in 1971. During the most recent war on Gaza, however, Abed Rabbo made statements unusual for him. Responding to Abbas at the time, he said, “Gaza is not a sponsor of terrorism, but a shield that has endured against the occupation. Woe to us Palestinians if Gaza is broken.” Abed Rabbo had also said, “Neither Hamas nor its weapons are to blame for what is happening, rather it should be criminal Israel.”
Last month, Abed Rabbo intervened on the back of the crackdown on trade unions and the arrest of the president of the Union of Public Employees, Bassam Zakarneh, and the Union’s vice-president, Moein Ansawi. As Abed Rabbo attended the meeting called by the electoral lists commission in the Legislative Council afterwards, he said, “The PLO can only be on the side of the voices calling for the executive branch to stop its assault on the freedom of trade union work.”
Fayyad and Abbas’ succession
By contrast to the battle with Dahlan and Abed Rabbo, the battle between Abbas and Fayyad is not public. It seems that Fayyad is benefiting from the Arab resentment on account of Abbas remaining in office, to sell his stocks in the Palestinian street and strengthen his relations with outside powers. Before going into details, however, it is important to note that the Third Way electoral list launched by Fayyad in the general election of 2006 was secretly steered by Abed Rabbo and backed by the UAE.
The dispute between Fayyad and Abbas had surfaced sharply in 2012, when Fayyad resigned following a clash with Abbas over accepting or rejecting the resignation of then-Finance Minister Nabeel Kassis, as Fayyad had held that portfolio for years. Since Fayyad’s resignation, the man has retreated from overt political work, and focused his efforts on the Palestine Tomorrow Foundation, which is active in “achieving sustainable development and improving the quality of services offered to the neglected areas of the West Bank and Gaza.” The foundation has caused a lot of controversy within Fatah and the PA because of its huge financial capabilities and links to donor countries and local organizations .
As a result of Fatah’s hostility, the Preventive Security Service – which is not authorized to deal with NGOs – raided Fayyad’s foundation and requisitioned electronic documents, and even summoned Fayyad himself for interrogation in August. Although Palestine Tomorrow’s assets have not been frozen and it did not shut down, the prevailing view is that Abbas will continue pressing in this direction.

On Thursday, Gaza woke up to large posters accusing Abbas of treason and threatening him of a major Fatah event mid-next month.

Other sources told Al-Akhbar, “Fayyad has a good reputation among donor countries. He is trying to expand his popular base to become a strong presidential contender, benefiting from his close ties to the security leaders and capitalists in the PA, in addition to his attempt to market himself as a successor to Abbas in American and Israeli circles, which have not objected to this yet.”
Thus a threefold headache now surrounds Abbas, who has yet to set a time for the presidential election or express his intention to step down. Abbas’ concerns have been made worse by the fact that the minister of civil affairs and the liaison between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, Hussein al-Sheikh, told him about a planned coup staged by Abed Rabbo, Fayyad, and Dahlan, as well as former intelligence chief Tawfiq Tirawi, and other members of the Fatah Central Committee, according to sources who spoke to Al-Akhbar.
On Thursday, Gaza woke up to large posters accusing Abbas of treason and threatening him of a major Fatah event mid-next month. A person close to Dahlan said, “Abbas no longer trusts anyone, especially that he is suffering from symptoms related to his old age and wants to eliminate what is left of collective leadership.” The man added, “All of Abbas’ concerns are delusional. The Palestinian situation is complex and it is not easy for anyone to take over the helm.”
On the other hand, Fatah leader Yahya Rabah said, “Those who move in an individual capacity outside the legitimate framework and overstep their jurisdictions should be punished.” He added, “It is not the right of any PLO member to deal with outside parties on the basis of his personal perspective away from laws and regulations,” in reference to the alleged secret meeting in the UAE.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


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The forbidden fruit of reconciliation between Hamas and Dahlan

Senior Hamas political leader meets with Mohammed Dahlan in an undisclosed location. Al-Akhbar
Published Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Reconciliation with Mohammed Dahlan (Abu Fadi) is not the first ‘taboo’ to be dropped by Hamas. Recently, there were suggestions Hamas would hold direct talks with Israel, “to negotiate strongly in order to restore rights.” However, Dahlan brings up painful memories for Hamas’ supporters, for the suffering they went through before and during the Palestinian division. Reconciliation with Abu Fadi also provokes his archrival Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), something that Hamas seem to be seeking these days.
Gaza – Palestinian political history underwent several stages during which alliances were often switched, until the Oslo accords came and drew a line in the sand, on one side of which stood the forces that championed the slogan of “peace,” and on the other the forces of resistance. There was overlap and intersection between the two sides sometimes, but the decision made by the largest resistance faction, that is Hamas, to enter the political arena, led it to a major battle against its archrival Fatah, the impact of which continues to this day.
One of the biggest titles of the Fatah-Hamas rivalry is Mohammed Dahlan. Dahlan had withdrawn from Gaza before Hamas took over the enclave, and many in Hamas are deeply averse to him over his history in repressing the movement and its supporters when he was the chief of the notorious Preventive Security Service. However, Hamas finds itself forced to pursue this bitter option to avoid a more bitter one. After forsaking power and letting the burden fall on Abu Mazen, the latter did not act to integrate the 45,000 civil servants in Gaza Hamas is still burdened with. So Hamas is now looking to corner Abu Mazen, and what better way to do it than by waving the name of Mohammed Dahlan?
Is this political acumen or is this purely just interests speaking? The answer to this question may not be as important as knowing how serious Hamas is about dialogue with Dahlan, especially since Abu Fadi still sees the Islamist movement as his number one enemy. But the man holds a lot of sway in the region, and has close links to Gulf financial safety nets. His strong connections with the regime in the UAE have also strengthened his position with the anti-Hamas regime in Cairo.
On Dahlan’s side, there are a number of important considerations to take into account. For example, there are his supporters in Fatah. Observers believe that the fact some voices in recent Revolutionary Council meetings raised the possibility of Dahlan’s return along with other expelled members to Fatah, reinforces the absolute conviction that it is impossible to keep the man away from the political scene. However, Abbas’s rigidity and personal dispute with Dahlan, in addition to growing tensions between supporters of the two factions, could favor the opponents of the two men led by Hamas.
‘Courting statements’
There are a number of statements made by Hamas leaders than can be seen in the context of the reconciliation with Dahlan, albeit the vice president of Hamas’ political bureau Moussa Abu Marzouk recently downplayed the official nature of these statements even when the names and ranks of the people who made them suggest otherwise.
Senior Hamas leader Salah Bardawil had said that his movement would not mind breaking the ice with Dahlan on the condition of completing reconciliation in the community.
 Similarly, Hamas MP in the Legislative Council Yahya Moussa – who is known for his controversial positions – hinted at the possibility of opening channels of communication with Dahlan on the basis of national partnership. He even said that, “Dahlan’s past is better than the present of Abbas, who runs the Palestinian situation with a defeatist mindset, and whose approach to the settlement process with Israel did not achieve anything other than more land confiscations.”
It is noteworthy to mention that the pragmatic Hamas leader Ahmed Yousef was the first to go public with Hamas’ intention to seek rapprochement with Dahlan and his supporters in Gaza.
Beyond intentions, some place these statements in the context of haggling and political blackmail against Mahmoud Abbas, more than they express a mood within Hamas that indeed welcomes an alliance with Dahlan.
Member of the Fatah Central Committee Jamal Muheisen says that Hamas’ wooing of Dahlan can only be understood in the context of troublemaking. He added, “Hamas wanted to hand over the financial burden to the consensus government, but the government is not an ATM. Hamas escalated last month to put pressure on the president, but when this was met with a firm position and reconciliation was frozen, Hamas started using the Dahlan card.”
Fatah leader Yahya Rabah corroborates this assessment. He said, “It is not up to Hamas whether to reconcile with Dahlan or not. Dahlan refuses to be part of Hamas’ game, and has not responded to their statements.” Rabah downplayed Hamas’ overtures. “The foolish parties in Hamas are embarrassed by the president’s great achievements in terms of recognition of the Palestinian state and the presentation of the Palestinian project at the UN Security Council, after [Hamas] engaged in gratuitous battles with the occupation in Gaza.”
Precursors to reconciliation
It is hard to ascertain what is really going on from all these views. It might be worthwhile to note the collaboration between some Hamas leaders and the pro-Dahlan faction in Gaza, especially in humanitarian matters through the National Commission for Development and Social Solidarity financed by official Emirati institutions. Hamas controls financial matters in the commission through MP Ismail al-Ashqar, while other affairs – logistics and public relations – are handled by other factions. This is one of the most explicit forms of collaboration between Hamas and Dahlan.
Hamas also provides facilities to the Palestinian Center for Human Perseverance (FATA) in Gaza, which is run by Dahlan’s wife Jalila, who has been nicknamed the “mother of the poor.”
Although Hamas controls the work of NGOs in Gaza with an iron fist, after commandeering some and shutting down others, things are different with FATA, which Hamas reopened two years ago. This organization operates under a broader margin of freedom, offering various programs that Hamas institutions benefit from, such as caring for orphans and impoverished university students, and helping with the restoration of homes.
Rapprochement with Dahlan and facilities given to his wife were stepped up after she visited Gaza in April to inaugurate projects overseen by her organization. Interestingly, former Fatah member Nasser Jumaa (expelled on the back of charges of misdemeanor), who is affiliated to Dahlan, says that Ahmed Yousef, Salah Bardawil, and Ismail al-Ashqar of Hamas met with Dahlan repeatedly in Dubai, from the gateway of the solidarity commission.
Jumaa said,

 “These figures are not marginal. Clearly, there are important leaders calling for reconciliation with Dahlan.” He added, “it is Hamas’ right to find ways to break its political isolation, but Abu Fadi does not like temporary, partial solutions. His dispute with Hamas is not personal but purely political, and for this reason, he did not respond to statements calling for reconciliation with him.”

 Going a little while back, the return of the pro-Dahlan expelled Fatah member Sufian Abu Zaida to Gaza earlier this year can be seen in this context as well. Others who returned with him include Alaa Yaghi and Majed Abu Shamala. Although this was seen as good faith on Hamas’ part for the sake of reconciliation, Abu Zaida published an article titled “Hamas Courts Dahlan,” in which he wrote,

“No doubt, Dahlan knows Hamas more than any other Palestinian leader. He was burned by its fire and vice versa. Nevertheless, we hope and we seek to restore the relationship on certain foundations.”

On the other hand, Dahlan posted on Facebook a link to an article published on the pro-Dahlan website Amad opposing reconciliation with Hamas, which the article described as “an opportunistic move meant to flee forward and put pressure on one side but not the other.” This suggests Dahlan gives priority to internal reconciliation in Fatah over reconciliation with Hamas.
Regarding Dahlan’s return to Gaza, MP Yahya Moussa denied throughAl-Akhbar statements attributed to him in which he allegedly called on Dahlan to return since he has a family in Gaza.
Moussa said,

“It is difficult to enter into gratuitous alliances with any side, even if our situation is very difficult at present. At the same time, however, there is no veto on anyone who can push national interests forward.”

Reconciling within Fatah
As Fatah’s seventh conference has now been scheduled for next month, escalation against Dahlan has increased. The Palestinian anti-graft commission declared a few days ago that it has referred a case involving the expelled Fatah leader to the corruption crimes tribunal. Meanwhile, the corruption tribunal published an ad in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida setting the date for a public court hearing for Dahlan on December 18.
Despite this, there are behind-the-scenes efforts in Fatah working for Dahlan’s return and to unify its ranks, after figures in the movement finally realized the extent of the political influence the man has.
Sources told Al-Akhbar that a recent Fatah meeting was marred by sharp quarrels between a faction categorically opposed to Dahlan’s return, and another proposing ways to bring him back to the fold.
The dispute mainly took place between Fatah leaders Tawfiq Tirawi and Jamal Muheisen. But member of the Revolutionary Council Ziad Abu Ein denied putting forward the issue, telling Al-Akhbar,

“We cannot meet with Dahlan now. The Palestinians are averse to any person establishing foreign relations in the name of Palestine.” Yahya Rabbah had also denied that Dahlan is a priority for Fatah at present. He said, “Internal reconciliation is achievable unlike reconciliation between Hamas and Dahlan, which seems impossible.”

Meanwhile, a leader affiliated to Dahlan said, “Dahlan wields great influence within the movement and does not consider himself to be outside it,” pointing out that Dahlan is not in a hurry to reconcile with Abbas, and is instead wagering on the latter’s old age, illness, and the end of his eligibility to rule, stressing that Hamas knows this very well.
Egypt between Abbas and Dahlan
In a related development, there has been a lot of fuss about the nature of the relationship between Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, which explains the limited visits Abbas has made to Cairo. By contrast, Dahlan has made near-official and intimidate visits at the level of reception, as sources close to him say Sisi receives him in his private quarters. The sources say that Dahlan’s mediation helped secure the reopening of the Rafah crossing briefly a few weeks ago. However, the sources say Sisi does not want to drive a wedge within Fatah but wants to heal the rift inside it, to confront the tide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and readjust the situation in the Strip in favor of the Palestinian Authority.
On the other side of the divide, sources close to Abbas note that the justifications Egypt cited to Abbas did not convince him in the most recent meeting more than a week ago.
They said,

“The person Egypt wants Abbas to reconcile with (Dahlan) has corrupted Fatah from inside, and attacked Abbas’ family describing it as corrupt.”

The sources said the relationship between Sisi and Dahlan dates to when he worked in Egyptian intelligence.
Abu Ein rejected this assessment, however, saying that Sisi recognizes Abbas alone as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian Authority, even if he and his intelligence services have had close ties to Dahlan.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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Fatah’s seventh general conference on hold as problems abound

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (C) arrives for a meeting of foreign ministers at the headquarters of the Arab League in the Egyptian capital Cairo on September 7, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Mohammed al-Shahed)
Published Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Ramallah – Fatah leader and president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, announced late last month that “the organization’s conference will be held very soon.” His statement, however, has not been translated into action, especially since regional elections and elections for movement offices have not taken place, and due to his preoccupation with the rapid political developments after the war.
A Central Committee member, who declined to be named, ruled out the possibility of holding the conference in the near future due to developments within Fatah and in Palestine. He told Al-Akhbar that the next phase is going to be characterized by “clashes with the occupation.” That view was reiterated by another member of the committee who attributed postponing the conference to ongoing developments in the region. Jamal Muhaisen, from the Central Committee, told Al-Akhbar that the decision to hold the conference still stands but that the date has not been determined.
Fatah’s Revolutionary Council secretary general, Amin Makboul, said the date has not been set yet “but the internal elections that precede the conference are expected before the end of the year.” He denied that the delay has anything to do with developments in the region, “except what is going on in Gaza, especially if Israel attacks again or members from Gaza are not able to make it,” he told Al-Akhbar.
Political writer and analyst, Khalil Shaheen, says that these are realistic conditions. He believes that the problem is not in Fatah’s ability to set a date for its conference, “but in its ability to hold it under the Israeli occupation’s restrictive measures in the West Bank, which would prevent an accurate representation of Palestinians in the diaspora and the Gaza Strip. This, in turn, will affect the integrity of a conference of a national liberation movement held under occupation.
If Fatah holds its conference, it will have to deal with a whole host of issues, including counting on the emergence of “a youthful leadership to carry on the struggle and to take its organizational place after the elections of the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council.” Voices within Fatah are calling for the need to create a new position for a vice president of the PA. That is what Makboul said: “We have recommendations to create the position of vice president but the issue is a legal one in the first place and it falls under the authority of the Legislative Council.
Revolutionary Council vice chairman, Fahmi al-Zaarir, explained that Fatah, in principle, “asked to create the post of vice president but this requires a legal accommodation by official institutions and it might be carried out by the Legislative Council or the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) being an umbrella organization, or through a presidential decree if the Legislative Council continues to be obstructed.” He told Al-Akhbar: “Fatah, in principle, supports the suggestion of creating a post of vice president, even Abbas was not opposed to the idea.”
Legal experts insist, however, that it is difficult to elect a vice president without passing a law by the Legislative Council because such a step requires an amendment in the basic Palestinian [legislative] structure. Besides, there is disagreement as to whether the president has sufficient legitimacy to issue a decree of this sort. Political analyst, Shaheen, believes that Fatah can elect a deputy for the organization’s president “which would help rearrange its structure and would allow this person to run in any future elections on the president’s list.”
If the post of vice president is in dispute because it is associated with the law of the PA, there are other issues within Fatah that will be the focus of great controversy, especially after Central Committee member, Mohammed Dahlan, was expelled along with other members from his inner circle. In this regard, Makboul denied that there is any intention to reconcile with Dahlan. He said: “The claim is baseless, Dahlan was expelled from the organization and it is over.” But observers and cadres from Fatah are worried that some parties within the conference might create a disturbance and a tense atmosphere regarding Dahlan’s ouster.
Zaarir echoed these concerns: “There is fear of creating disorder at the conference, for indeed there are people trying to do so.” He added: “A decision was taken by the Central Committee to expel Mohammed Dahlan and others. The organization’s agenda does not include having to reach an agreement or reconcile with him.” Consequently, analysts concerned with the affairs of Fatah believe that the conference is a chance to completely get rid of Dahlan’s camp as the ouster process began before the conference.
Another issue that will surely be on the agenda during Fatah’s big meeting is the relationship with Israel after the faltering political process as they will talk at length about the next step that the PA will have to take.
A number of Central Committee members agreed that the war and its effect on Gaza are not over. And the same goes for the relationship with Israel, especially that they are not oblivious to the possibility of renewed clashes with the Israeli occupation if the security coordination stops and Palestinian leaders seek action in the Security Council and international institutions. What makes this scenario more likely is Israel’s continued settlement building and land confiscation.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Clashes kill eight at South Lebanon Palestinian camp

Clashes kill eight at South Lebanon Palestinian camp

Published Monday, April 7, 2014
Updated 5:15 pm: At least eight people were killed and about 10 wounded in fierce clashes that erupted Monday between armed groups at a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, state media reported.

Lebanon’s National News Agency said machine guns and rocket propelled grenades were being used for almost two hours between supporters of Fattah-affiliated official Ahmed Rashid and the Islamist group Ansar Allah in the town of Miyye Miyye, located on a hill just east of Sidon.

The report identified two of the dead as Rashid Rashid, the brother of Ahmed, and Abu Youssef al-Maty. Both were aligned with a branch of Fatah that is loyal to Mohammed Dahlan, who was chased out of the West Bank three years ago by his former allies of the Palestinian Authority.
 Munir Maqdah, an official with the Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Brigades was quoted by the NNA as saying that a conflict arose between Rashid and Jamal Suleiman, the leader of Ansar Allah, about 10 days ago, without elaborating.
He said the parties coordinated with the Lebanese army to end the standoff. Witnesses told Al-Akhbar that the area has remained calm since the fighting subsided at around 2:00 pm.
The clashes also forced several schools in parts of Sidon facing Miyye Miyye to shut down.

مجزرة الميّة وميّة: هل بدأت تصفية «الدحلانيين»؟

آمال خليل
شهد مخيّم المية ومية، أمس، تصعيداً غير مسبوق بين مجموعة «كتائب العودة» وجماعة «أنصار الله». مجزرة أودت بحياة ثمانية أشخاص في إشكال مسلح بين الطرفين. الإشكال مثّل ذروة الاستفزازات المتبادلة التي تكررت بين الطرفين في الأشهر الأخيرة، وسجل آخرها قبل أقل من شهر.
الروايات تضاربت حول الجهة التي أشعلت شرارة الإشكال، منها ما يؤكد أن مسؤول مجموعة «كتائب العودة»، بقيادة أحمد رشيد عدوان (المعروف بأحمد رشيد)، وعناصره، رصدوا مرور موكب مسؤول جماعة أنصار الله جمال سليمان ومرافقيه، إذ كان الأخير متوجهاً إلى مطار بيروت لاصطحاب ابن شقيقه العائد من السعودية. في المقابل، قالت مصادر إسلامية إنّ «أنصار الله علموا أن كميناً يُعدّ لسليمان وهو في طريقه للخروج من المخيم»، لذلك قام عناصر الأخير «بهجوم استباقي على مركز عدوان واشتبكوا معهم»، فيما تتحدث روايات أخرى عن مشهد معاكس تماماً، وتقول إنّ اجتماعاً عقد في السفارة الفلسطينية بين سليمان ومسؤول الساحة الفلسطينية عزام الأحمد، واتخذ فيه قرار «تصفية رشيد».في النتيجة «المتفق» عليهاأنّ الرصاصة الأولى التي انطلقت أعقبها مباشرة إطلاق نار متبادل بالأسلحة الرشاشة والقذائف. والمحصلة ثمانية قتلى، أبرزهم رشيد نفسه وشقيقاه خالد ورشيد، وجرح ثلاثة من عناصره. في المقابل سقط ابن شقيق سليمان، شادي، إلى جانب الناشط الاجتماعي طارق الصفدي، وثلاثة مدنيين آخرين بالرصاص الطائش على غرار العشرات من سكان المخيم.
قتل رشيد واخواه بالإضافة الى خمسة مدنيين
الرصاص سكت عصراً بعد إخلاء المتقاتلين الميدان للمحتجين ضد الاشتباك، إذ اعتصم عدد من سكان المخيم، وقطعوا الطرقات بالإطارات المشتعلة ضد المجزرة واستخدام السلاح في الإشكالات الفردية. وفي مخيّم عين الحلوة المجاور، أيضاً، قطع أفراد من آل نوفل «الشارع التحتاني» بالإطارات المشتعلة، احتجاجاً على مقتل أقربائهم من آل رشيد.
في المية ومية، يقرّ المتابعون بالعداوة المتبادلة بين مجموعة رشيد (37 عاماً مولود في المية ومية لوالد سوري وأم فلسطينية) وجماعة سليمان بسبب التنافس على تقاسم النفوذ. الشيخ استاء من محاولة رشيد خلق «حالة» حوله، مستعيناً بالأموال التي يملكها من أعماله الخاصة، خصوصاً أنّ المخيم الصغير يعتبر المعقل الرئيس لـ«أنصار الله».
ورشيد، المتهم بجرائم عدة أمام القضاء اللبناني كتجارة المخدرات والسلاح، شكّل «كتائب شهداء العودة – تكتل عام 1948»، التي «صنّفت على أنها فرع مخيم المية ومية للقيادي المفصول من حركة فتح محمد دحلان».وقال رشيد حينها إنّ مجموعته المسلحة «تسعى لقتال العدو الإسرائيلي».
لكن مصادر فلسطينية تروي أنّ لرشيد تواصلاً مع جليلة، زوجة دحلان، التي كانت تلتقيه كلما زارت المخيم، وتعتمد عليه في توزيع مساعداتها على النازحين السوريين، ما عزّز الاتهامات بأنه «يقبض» من دحلان بهدف زرع الشقاق داخل حركة فتح.بالصور : د جليلة دحلان تتفقد تجمع للنازحين الفلسطينيين في مخيم عين الحلوة
.. الأمن العامّ اللبنانيّ يحقق مع السيدة جليلة دحلان ويبلغها أنه “غير مرغوب بها في لبنان”

وفي اتصال مع «الأخبار»، نفى العميد محمود عيسى «اللينو» أي علاقة برشيد، داعياً إلى «تفويت الفرصة على المتربصين بشعبنا لاقتتال داخلي». وتقول مصادر فتحاوية إنه «كان من المتوقع حدوث خضة أمنية في أحد المخيمات، خصوصاً بعد عودة اللينو من الامارات الاسبوع الماضي بعد لقائه دحلان». ورأى مسؤولون في حركة فتح أنّ اللينو أتى بمخطط لاستهداف المخيمات.
في المواقف، أعرب دحلان عن استنكاره للإشكال، وشنّ هجوماً على فتح والرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس بسبب اتهامه بارتباط رشيد به.
رئيس الحكومة الفلسطينية المقالة إسماعيل هنية عبّر بدوره عن «أسفه الشديد لسقوط ضحايا من أبناء الشعب الفلسطيني في مخيم المية ومية». أما قيادة فصائل منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية فقد عقدت اجتماعاً طارئاً واستنكرت الاحتكام إلى السلاح. ويذكر أن اجتماعاً سيعقد اليوم في السفارة الفلسطينية ستدعى اليه كل فصائل «منظمة التحرير» و«تحالف القوى الفلسطينية»، ليستمعوا إلى ما سيقوله ممثل «أنصار الله»، إضافة إلى وضع خطة لحفظ الأمن في المخيمات. إلى ذلك، أصدرت «كتائب العودة» بياناً، مساء أمس، توعّدت فيه بالثأر «لأب الفقراء أحمد رشيد».


This is the Custodian of Palestine!


So full of it: So, Israel & the ‘moderate’ (sigh) Arabs are discovering that this little man, is a useless, corrupt & cowardly criminal, something every Palestinian child (killed or alive) knew all along?

“… The document further reveals that Abbas has serious concerns that he will meet the same fate as Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and ousted Tunisian leader Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali. “In addition, the Saudis are accusing him of lack of efficiency and corruption,” the paper said.

“Several Gulf states are also angry with Abbas for his removal of Mohammed Dahlan … However, the Foreign Ministry also recommended offering the PA some rewards.

According to the paper, if the Palestinians refrain from approaching the UN, Israel should negotiate a Palestinian state on provisional borders with the PA until the Arab world stabilizes and Palestinian elections are held. However, if the Palestinians decide to go ahead with their plan and receive upgraded status, Israel would consider it as the crossing of a red line which merits a tough response.

The Foreign Ministry claimed that Abbas chose to take his bid to the UN now realizing he needs to improve his popularity among Palestinians in light of his perceived inability to handle domestic challenges, particularly the economic challenge.

The Palestinian president is also worried about the exposure of more corruption allegations against him. Since he became PA chairman, details about Abbas’ income and assets have been disclosed by opposition elements within Fatah.

According to the paper, Abbas earns $1 million a month. US President Barack Obama’s annual salary, in comparison, stands at $400,000. The paper also quoted data published by the Inlight Press website according to which Abbas holds several Jordanian accounts of more than $500 million, mostly Palestinian tax payer money. ……

The paper claims that Abbas’ sons are given a share of all Palestinian Authorities projects, based on information from the Inlight Press website.

“This explains why Abu Mazen tried to promote a Dead Sea tourism project funded by Gulf states. It is claimed that his sons won contracts for more than $250 million.”

The website had apparently revealed that Abbas had prepared a plan to flee the Palestinian Authority to Jordan more than a year ago….

The Foreign Ministry believes these reports are credible and had relayed the information to the US State Department.

Israeli sources claimed that the CIA is now reviewing the data. …”


Fatah says Dahlan poisoned Arafat

Fatah says Dahlan poisoned Arafat

[ 07/08/2011 – 07:29 PM ]

From Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

A panel of high-ranking Fatah leaders has accused former Gaza strongman Muhammed Dahlan of complicity in poisoning the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Afafat died of a mysterious illness at a French hospital in 2004 after a short illness. His Jordanian doctor asserted that the possibility of a “foul play” was very high.

The panel, comprising the head of Fatah’s parliamentary caucus Azzam al-Ahmad, his deputy Tayyeb Abdul Rahim, as well as Othman Abu Gharbiyeh and Nabil Shaath, also accused Dahlan of having planned a military coup in the West Bank and of liquidating Palestinian leaders.
According to the panel’s report, letters have been sent to Palestinian ambassadors around the world instructing them to refrain from having any dealings with Dahlan. The Interpol has also been asked to arrest Dahlan.

Dahlan was fired from Fatah recently following charges he planned a coup against Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas.

Last week, PA security forces raided Dahlan’s home in Ramallah, confiscating weapons and arresting security guards.

Dahlan consistently denied any wrong doings, insisting that he was the target of a vindictive witch-hunt campaign by detractors and political enemies.

According to the report, Dahlan was formally charged with bringing poisoned medicine into Arafat’s quarter in Ramallah.

“When Arafat was being treated in Paris, Dahlan met an official of the Presidential Guard in Ramallah, and instructed him to burn all the medicine belonging to Arafat.”

Assassination of Kamal Midhat,

Dahlan was also interrogated in connection with his alleged implication in the perpetration of several assassinations of Palestinian political, media and business figures, including Kamal Midhat, Hussein Abu Ajwa and Hesham Makki. The latter was the head of the Palestinian Radio and Television Corporation.

Furthermore, Dahlan was questioned over several corruption cases including taking over public funds for his private businesses and illegally levying taxes when he was Preventive Security Chief in Gaza from 1994-2001. He was also investigated with regard to deposited funds in banks in Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and Montenegro .

Dahlan was further investigated concerning his purchase of a Jordanian weekly called Sheehan as well as his funding of the al-Ghad Jordanian satellite television station.

He reportedly claimed that the satellite TV project was a commercial enterprise with nationalistic goals. However, operatives at the TV station reportedly told investigators that Dahlan instructed them to attack PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo and Chairman Abbas.

Other charges accused Dahlan of targeting the presidential office and other governmental and security premises in Ramallah where he reportedly sought to recruit officers and officials.

Dahlan reportedly sought to recruit a high-ranking officer in the Presidential Guard named Abu Awadh. However, when the latter refused, he was arrested by the Israeli occupation authorities, which suggests that Dahlan may have worked in concert with the Israeli intelligence.

The former Gaza strongman was also charged with implanting eavesdropping gadgets in a number of security and ministerial buildings. Dahlan denied the charges.

He was also charged with purchasing firearms from Arab arms dealers inside Israel for the purpose of using the weapons in a possible coup against Chairman Abbas.

Finally, Dahlan was charged with receiving the sum $300,000 from U.S. Gen. Keith Dayton in 2005 for the purpose of forming his own security forces in Gaza as well as embezzling money that would have gone to rehabilitating vacated Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip.

Dahlan denied all these charges.

Sounding defiant and totally unrepentant, Dahlan lambasted Abbas, accusing him of “dictatorship, despotism and tyranny,” saying the “shamefulness” of the raid on his home in Ramallah would continue to haunt the Palestinian leader for a long time to come.

“I am a member of Fatah, and I will continue to be part of it. Fatah is not a private property of Abu Mazen (Abbas’s de guerre). Fatah is the responsibility of its sons, and if Abu Mazen hates the movement and wants to leave, let him leave..”

Dahlan told the London-based al Hayat newspaper last week his differences with the Palestinian leader didn’t have a nationalistic background.

“He (Abbas) couldn’t bear seeing me criticize some of his policies, such as raising the fate of Fatah’s money and the Investment Fund. In the final analysis, Abbas founded a petty dictatorship for himself under the Israeli occupation.”

Dahlan denied that he had been imposed on the Palestinian leadership by a foreign entity (a possible allusion to the United States or Israel ), saying such a thing would have been dishonorable for Abu Mazen himself.

Accusing the Palestinian leader of “breaking all the lofty and noble values with which we grew up, Dahlan vowed to continue to uncover the truth. He added, “I will do every thing in accordance with the law, and I won’t resort to revenge as Abbas has done.”

Finally, Dahlan accused Abbas of ingratitude.

“I defended him when people were accusing him of being a traitor and Israeli collaborator. I stood with him because I wanted to see a respectable establishment take root…I was with him when everyone else was against him.
“My impression is that he wanted to vent his frustration, having utterly failed in the peace process. Under his leadership, we lost every thing, we lost Gaza , we lost the elections, we became without a political horizon, and the overall Palestinian situation is very very bad. The man simply hates Fatah, wants to dismantle it in a systematic manner, step by step.”

The showdown between the Dahlan and Abbas camps seems far from over. Dahlan, say people close to him, is overconfident, overambitious, defiant and diehard. He also has a hardcore of supporters in the Gaza Strip as well as a few hundred Gazan followers who fled to the West Bank after Hamas took over the coastal enclave in the summer of 2007.

According to some commentators, Dahlan is hoping to retain an ability to make things hard for Abbas, which would eventually force the Palestinian leader to mend relations with him on a more favorable basis.

“Dahlan will never give up; he will never abandon his quest for leadership. He is willing to do anything to realize his goal,” said a Gaza journalist familiar with Dahlan’s way of thinking.

“He thinks that by being overly vociferous, he can make things hard for Abbas, who is an old man.”

None the less, Dahlan’s quest for leadership may well be his own worst enemy. The problem, however, is that the former strongman of Gaza who was once thought to be a likely successor to Yasser Arafat, doesn’t read the Palestinian political map very well.
He seems oblivious of the deep political changes occurring in occupied Palestine ever since the death of Arafat, seven years ago.

Besides, his popularity in the West Bank is quite weak.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Fatah: Dahlan Involved in Poisoning Arafat, Planning a Coup

Fatah has accused ousted party strongman Muhammad Dahlan of “having a hand” in poisoning late President Yasser Arafat, Al-Jazeera’s Arabic-language news site reported Saturday.

Arafat died in a Paris hospital in November 2004. The exact cause of his death remains a mystery, but popular belief among Palestinians holds that he was poisoned.

According to Al-Jazeera, Fatah’s commission of inquiry also found that Dahlan was linked to assassination attempts on other Palestinian leaders and that he had planned a coup in the West Bank.

Senior Fatah leaders Azzam Al-Ahmad, At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim, Othman Abu Gharbiyya and Nabil Shaath submitted the findings of the inquiry, according to the news site.

Palestinian ambassadors were urged to avoid dealing with Dahlan and Interpol was asked to help arrest the former strongman, the report said.

Palestinian Authority sources told the news site that the West Bank government had come under international and regional pressure not to pursue Dahlan.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Qassem: Dahlan is not the only thief

[ 13/06/2011 – 09:04 AM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)– Prof. Abdusattar Qassem, Najah university lecturer and former candidate for PA presidency, has said that those trying Fatah former strongman Mohammed Dahlan were not better than him.

Qassem, who was commenting on the Fatah central committee’s decision to expel Dahlan from its membership and charging him with corruption and murder, said in a TV interview on Sunday night that the Palestinian people have to put on trial all those who betray them.
“Dahlan is not unique and there are many other thieves,” Qassem said, adding that his trial should be open for the public to serve as deterrence for others who tamper with the Palestinian cause.
A source in the central committee told the AFP earlier Sunday that it decided to dismiss Dahlan over corruption and murder charges.
Dahlan’s membership in Fatah’s central committee was suspended a year ago. It formed a committee to interrogate him over his charges against the sons of Fatah leader and PA chief Mahmoud Abbas of exploiting their father’s position to elicit illegal financial gains.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Wikileaks: Dahlan was ‘screaming & shouting at me …then collapsed’



(Yossi Melman) – “Palestinian Authority strongman Mohammed Dahlan’s mental health is rapidly deteriorating, the head of the Defense Ministry’s political-security branch Maj. Gen. (res. ) Amos Gilad told an American diplomat in 2005, according to the latest documents released by WikiLeaks.
Dahlan, then minister for civil affairs in the Palestinian Authority, was responsible at the time for one of the Palestinian Authority’s security organizations and was seen as one of Israel’s key interlocutors in the territories, working directly with heads of the Shin Bet security service. Gilad described Dahlan’s psychological condition in a meeting with Elizabeth Dibble, then a senior official at the State Department’s Middle East desk. The meeting was reported in a message sent from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.
“Gilad described Dahlan as a man whose emotional and mental health was deteriorating to the point that he ‘collapsed’ in Gilad’s arms when the latter met him on the evening of September 16,” Dibble wrote. “Gilad described the meeting as follows: ‘Dahlan was there with his daughter-in-law. I told him ‘You are sick,’ and he started screaming and shouting at me. He shouted for hours. We called a doctor and suggested he go to a hospital. He refused and said he had to speak to thousands of Palestinians on September 17. He then collapsed on his bed. He looked ghostly white … I said, ‘If you leave this room you will either be martyred or end up paralyzed.’ He broke down in my arms and said he would go to hospital. We arranged a VIP room at a hospital in Tel Aviv and took him there in an ambulance with a police escort. The following day doctors said he had a slipped disc.”
Gilad said King Abdullah of Jordan sent a helicopter within 30 minutes and flew him to Amman.
Although Dahlan’s hospitalization was eventually reported in Israeli media, Gilad said the Israeli government was not responsible for the leak, fearing it would be used by other Palestinians to humiliate and undermine Dahlan. Gilad said he would never break his word to Dahlan, despite the latter being “extremist and unhelpful on the Rafah issue,” Dibble wrote. She noted Gilad described Dahlan as “destructive,” saying that Dahlan was behind the “elimination” of PA interior minister Nasser Yousef.
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 10:33 AM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Fatah hounds Dahlan


Friday, 07 January 2011 16:13

by Khaled Amayreh

A Fatah security panel has been questioning former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan in connection with allegations that he had been plotting to overthrow Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. Dahlan denied any wrongdoing, blaming the “rumours” on “political enemies and envious detractors”.

Fatah didn’t issue a formal statement on the outcome of the two-hour questioning session, but unofficial sources in Ramallah spoke of a “growing estrangement” between Dahlan and “the presidency institution and those who call the shots [within Fatah].”

According to some Fatah sources, Dahlan, a member in Fatah’s Executive Committee, has already been stripped of many of his privileges and denied access to classified information. It has also been rumoured that he has been asked to leave the West Bank and make no contacts with PA security agencies.
Moreover, some of Dahlan’s close aides and confidants in the West Bank have been arrested lately, with money and caches of mostly light weapons rumoured seized.

The interrogation session with Dahlan left many questions unanswered. It may have even increased the sense of “bad chemistry” between the “Dahlan camp” and the Fatah leadership. Dahlan himself has voiced deep grievances, telling reporters in Ramallah a few hours after the questioning session that, “I feel hounded and persecuted.” “I will be patient with Fatah as I have been patient with Hamas. The problem is that many people would prefer to believe rumours, not the truth.”

Fatah-PA interrogators reportedly confronted Dahlan with a secretly recorded conversation in the northern West Bank in which he told supporters, “I made Abbas. I enabled him to reach the status and stature he has now. I enabled him to travel all over the world to promote and expedite his sons’ business.”

Dahlan argued his remarks were merely a slip of the tongue and that he didn’t harbour any vindictiveness or ill will towards Abbas and his family. He also claimed that “certain detractors” were poisoning his relations with Abbas by resorting to rumours, innuendoes and lies.

About two months ago, it was reported that Dahlan was part of a group that intended to have Abbas replaced by Nasser Al-Qidwa, a nephew of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. For the time being, Dahlan is being questioned with regards to alleged attempts to destabilise the authority of Abbas, whose term in office has long expired.

Dahlan may be feeling that he is a scapegoat for Fatah blunders, especially during the period in which he was most prominent, and that was defined by rampant corruption, haphazard governance, and autocratic decision-making. In 1994-2000, Dahlan was Gaza’s strongman as head of the Preventive Security Forces. With a large number of cronies and hangers-on, Dahlan presided over a regime of routine political abuse, security repression and financial corruption.

In May 1997, during the height of Dahlan’s lordship in Gaza, David Hirst wrote an article in The Guardian, entitled “Shameless in Gaza”. He quoted one of Gaza’s merchant princes, a former Fatah fighter himself, as saying: “We live in amazing, shameful times, but you should know that every revolution has its fighters, thinkers and profiteers. Our fighters have been killed, our thinkers assassinated, and all we have left are the profiteers. These don’t think even primarily of the cause, they don’t think about it at all. They know that they are just transients here, as they were in Tunis, and, as with any regime whose end is near, they think only of profiting from it while they can.”

Dahlan was not solely responsible for the wanton flaws of the Arafat era, but there is no denying his power and influence at this time. Dahlan denies any wrongdoing. He complains, “They are claiming I have embezzled tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars. Where are they?” But in the words of a neighbour, Dahlan, who was hardly able to buy a pack of cigarettes prior to the Oslo Accords, has become rich. The question imposes itself: How?

Some of Dahlan’s loyalists and supporters — and they are many, especially in the Gaza Strip, his natural power base — insist that the onus of proof lies with his accusers who should provide irrefutable evidence to back allegations of corruption. However, this is unlikely to be possible, given the murky atmosphere in which the PA, a non-state entity with little oversight, operates. For the time being, Dahlan is asking why he is being singled out.

Aside from allegations of plotting to overthrow Abbas, Dahlan probably should be investigated for his role in events that led to the rift with Hamas and the brief but bloody strife in Gaza in the summer of 2007. Dahlan is widely believed to have connived and colluded with the Americans and Israelis to destabilise Hamas, planning a coup attempt against its elected government in Gaza. Hamas responded by pre-empting the attempt and taking over Gaza by force.

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Sacking “Dangerous Dahlan” – a blow to Israel and a step towards Palestinian reconciliation????


Via Redress 

6 January 2011

Rod Cox argues that Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to suspended Mohammed Dahlan from a key body of the ruling Fatah faction pending an investigation into allegations that he was plotting a coup deprives Israel of a principal tool and removes a stumbling block to reconciliation with Hamas.

Key Israel ally

Mahmoud Abbas, has sacked Mohammed Dahlan, formerly head of the Presidential Guard in Gaza, and regarded by everyone I’ve ever met as the hand of Israel in Palestine. Although there is certainly no proof of this, very many Palestinians point the finger at Dahlan when they talk of the mysterious death of Yasser Arafat, now almost universally regarded as murder by poison by Israel.

When Hamas won the January 2006 election in Palestine, but were not allowed to take power, they eventually formed a power-sharing government with Abbas’s Fatah and some deals for practical implementation of the unitary government were put in place. One of these deals was that “security” in Gaza would be put under the control of the PNA in a unified force, rather than the collection of private militias that had existed since Arafat’s time.

These militia, you may recall, were responsible for kidnappings, including the abduction of BBC journalist Alan Johnston. A quick search of the BBC’s website for “Johnston and Gaza” brings up

•July 2004 – “This weekend a string of high profile kidnappings and fighting…”
•April 2003 – “Dahlan says he will disarm other militias by force if necessary”, and so on.
Johnson was captured on 12 March 2007 by the Dogmush clan, another fearsome tribe that had been allowed to run wild while Dahlan was head of security in Gaza under Arafat and then Abbas.

The reasoning behind the kidnap, at a time when Hamas looked certain to beat Dahlan, seems to have been an excuse to bring in international – i.e. Israeli – forces against Hamas, who had been fighting Dahlan as part of their mission to unify security, agreed as part of the coalition settlement.

Dahlan was supposed to slot into the Hamas parliamentary chain of command, but that was never going to happen after Israel, which preferred Gaza split, unstable, corrupt and divided, gave him a boatload of arms, and in the end the fighting became very bloody, but Hamas “won”.

Dahlan fled to the West Bank, where he was found a job in Tony Blair’s reorganizations, but that spelt the end of any Hamas input there, as a wave of arrests of Hamas activists by Abbas, and Hamas MPs by Israel, took place

Palestinian reconciliation

So, the removal of “Dangerous Dahlan” is bravery by Abbas beyond what I would have considered possible. Does that make Abbas weak or strong? The BBC says that he is under pressure, which he is, but I see this as poke in the eye for Israel, and a statement of independence on the part of Abbas.

In Israeli eyes, Abbas has been behaving strangely lately: he has refused to obey Israel slavishly, he insists on the settlement ban, and by removing Dahlan he may actually be clearing the way for a dialogue with Hamas. Thus, as with Arafat, Israel would want to get rid of him, so the coup charge against Dahlan looks realistic. And therefore getting rid of Dahlan is very brave, and a smack in the teeth for Netanyahu, isn’t it? Well, I’ve always been a glass-half-full man, because otherwise I would have to cut my wrists. The situation is so depressing, so let us look at the picture in the round.

Abbas had not folded in his demand for a settlement moratorium – he has a plan B (declare an independent state of Palestine) to go forward diplomatically in the face of Israeli intransigence which is meeting with some success, and he has just got rid of the one man that Hamas would want him to, opening the way for genuine dialogue. He is now in a position where he can be a little bit generous to Hamas, even if Israel will portray that as weakness. A united front will be important to get a first ever Security Council resolution against Israel’s brutality, and then the Gaza boats will be on the seas again in May, again with a powerful Turkish presence, making it hard for Israel to sustain the Gaza blockade and depriving its claim to peace of any credibility.

Obama doesn’t have to do anything, he just has to sit on his hands, and let it all happen. I think Abbas thinks he can actually achieve something, and I hope he’s right.

Qassem: Dahlan has secrets against PA officials and will not be condemned


Qassem: Dahlan has secrets against PA officials and will not be condemned

[ 01/01/2011 – 02:24 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)– Dr. Abdelsattar Qassem, a professor of political science at the Najah university, ruled out that the inquiry committee formed by de facto president Mahmoud Abbas could declare Fatah leader Mohamed Dahlan guilty of corruption charges and attempts to overthrow Abbas.

Qassem explained that Dahlan has many serious and big secrets about every official from the Palestinian Authority and Fatah and there are fears he would wash their dirty laundry in public if he was seriously interrogated, stressing that the history proved that the criminal is afraid of questioning those who knows about his crime.

“It is likely that Dahlan has made something against those who accused him, but they will not interrogate him seriously because they know the price, they may pay through the interrogation, is much higher than the price they will pay if he is not questioned,” the professor said.

He expressed his belief that the investigations will be nominal and confidential, and will not take a long time before the PA and Fatah use the higher national interests to justify closing the file against Dahlan.

In this regard, followers of Dahlan threatened to take action against Abbas and to use documents in their possession to turn the table upside down over the heads of senior PA officials if Dahlan was declared guilty of the accusations leveled against him.

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Analyst Assawaf: Freezing Dahlan’s Fatah membership proof of his corruption


[ 29/12/2010 – 07:57 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– Palestinian writer and political analyst Mustafa Assawaf said that the decision taken by the central committee of Fatah faction to freeze the membership of its senior leader Mohamed Dahlan is clear proof of his involvement in many corruption cases and security incidents that happened in the Palestinian arena.

In a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC), Assawf stated that Dahlan suffers from psychological problems and has passion for power and fame.

He stressed that the decision to freeze Dahlan’s membership underlines clearly that Fatah has started to suffer from internal collapse, especially since Dahlan is considered the first man inside Fatah after de facto president Mahmoud Abbas.

The writer noted that these problems inside Fatah indicate that it is a fragile faction and has no future.

The decision to freeze Dahlan’s membership followed claims that he plotted to overthrow Mahmoud Abbas. His aides are now being interrogated by a panel formed by Abbas.
The central committee also decided to remove Dahlan from Fatah’s information and culture commission and to ban him from attending its meetings until the interrogation panel finishes questioning him and his aides.

The committee, which met under the chairmanship of Abbas, announced that Nabil Abu Rudaineh, the spokesman of the Palestinian authority (PA), would become Fatah’s chief spokesman.

The PA security forces reportedly arrested many Dahlan’s loyalists including security elements in the West Bank while government institutions were ordered not to cooperate with him.

In the same context, informed Palestinian sources told the PIC on condition of anonymity that the PA intends to exile Dahlan’s followers to Gaza.

The sources noted that the main reasons that exacerbated the dispute between Abbas and Dahlan were that the latter tried to market himself to the Americans, Europeans and Israelis as the best replacement for Abbas as well as he badmouthed the former’s sons as corrupt persons who exploited their father’s position to accumulate a fortune.

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Dahlan launches resistance with…half of Israel


Dahlan launches resistance with…half of Israel

“Dahlan stated there are civil ways [to apply pressure on Israel], including popular resistance for example, “which no one could blame us for. On the contrary, half of Israel will participate with us, and the international community will sympathize with us.“”

Posted by As’ad at 6:56 AM

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