Middle East Monitor / March 6, 2021
Backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), dismissed Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan is seeking to form his own electoral list for the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections led by former President of Al-Quds University Sari Nusseibeh, Arabic Post reported on Friday.
The list would be named “Jerusalem First” and would include former prime ministers and ministers, in addition to senior Fatah leaders who are not content with the corruption and clashes among the secular Palestinian movement.
Sources told Arabic Post that former Prime Ministers Salam Fayyad and Rami Hamdallah, as well as senior Fatah leader Nabil Amr, could be included in the list.
According to the sources, through Dahlan, the UAE is seeking an official political presence in the Palestinian political arena. This is an extension of the UAE’s support for Palestinian NGOs and certain Palestinian figures through Dahlan.
Palestinian political analyst Naji Shurrab described Dahlan and the UAE’s attempt to form this electoral list as a “dangerous turn” in light of the existence of several Fatah lists, and stressed that its formation would result in a “political quake” within Fatah.
Meanwhile, the International Jerusalem Institution said that the UAE is exploiting the Palestinian elections to extend its political influence on the Palestinian political arena: “In order to serve the Israeli occupation through the implementation of Abraham Accords.”
The institution asserted that using the slogan of “Jerusalem First” is “fake” because Nusseibeh is the one who proposed the Nusseibeh-Ayalon Agreement, which recognised Jerusalem as the capital of two states. It was signed in the summer of 2002, during the peak of the Israeli aggression on the Palestinians.
Member of Fatah Revolutionary Council Tayseer Nasrallah explained that Dahlan and Nasser al-Qidwa’s moves are presenting Fatah with “difficult choices” that could tear it to pieces.
Nasrallah reiterated: “The situation within Fatah became very critical in light of the disagreement plaguing the movement.”
Arabic Post reported that Nusseibeh is leading NGOs and bodies in Jerusalem working to replace Qatari and Turkish influence with the UAE’s existence.