Middle East Monitor / December 5, 2020
Palestinian dismissed Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan is preparing to return from exile to compete for presidency of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Intelligence Online has revealed.
The website disclosed that there are several signs that Dahlan is returning home, including the potential holding of Palestinian elections.
Another sign is Dahlan’s attempt to gain popular support on the ground through his criticism of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to resume relations with Israel.
Intelligence Online reported that Dahlan mediates between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel to normalise relations, pointing out that he scored points against Abbas through his criticism of the resumption of security cooperation with Israel.
Meanwhile, the website revealed that Dahlan played a role in the withdrawal of Fatah official Jibril Rajoub from the reconciliation talks held in Cairo, revealing that Dahlan intensified his contacts with the Egyptians to thwart the reconciliation, which, if successful, would benefit the PA.
For a long time, Dahlan has been considered a potential successor to Abbas, according to the website, noting that the death of PA and PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat last month clear one of his competitors.
The website divulged that Dahlan has support from some of the Palestinian forces, who share similar ideologies.
The New Khalij website disclosed that the Dahlan-Abbas conflict refers back to the time of late President Yasser Arafat, who trusted Dahlan when the PLO was based in Tunis.
When the PLO signed the Oslo Accords and the PA was formed, Arafat commissioned Dahlan to establish a security apparatus, which was Arafat’s harsh hand against Hamas in Gaza.
Following Arafat’s death, the conflict increased after Hamas won the 2006 elections.
Both Abbas and Dahlan continued exchanging accusations of corruption and misconduct until 2014, when a Palestinian court in the West Bank indicted Dahlan, sentencing him to two years in prison over “defaming” Abbas, and three years in prison over graft charges.