Middle East Monitor / January 26, 2021
The Fatah movement has turned down a proposal made by the Democratic Reform Current, led by dismissed Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan, to run on a joint list in the upcoming elections, the New Khaleej reported yesterday.
One day after the issuance of the election decree, Sufyan Abu-Zaydeh, a senior leader in the Democratic Reform Current, posted on Facebook that the party had planned to run on a united list with Fatah. He added that Fatah had rejected the proposal, so the party will now run alone.
Speaking to Al-Monitor, Secretary of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, Majed al-Fityani, stressed that the Democratic Reform Current does not have any links to Fatah. “Its members,” he explained, “are the reason for all the internal crises inside the movement.”
The official added that everyone is able to run in the elections as long as they comply with the laws.
Fifty-seven-year-old Dahlan was expelled from Fatah’s ruling body in 2011 on allegations of plotting to overthrow Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and has been living in exile in the UAE since 2012.
He was the former head of the Fatah-dominated Preventive Security Force in the Gaza Strip.
In December 2019, Turkey added Dahlan to its most wanted terrorist list, with a $1.7 million bounty on his head, due to his alleged involvement in perpetrating the attempted military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government on 15 July 2016, in cooperation with followers of the exiled Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who remains in the US.
Abbas rival Dahlan ‘sends money to West Bank and Gaza ahead of elections’
Middle East Monitor / January 22, 2021
A key rival of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is reported to be sending aid to marginalised areas in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem suburbs, and the Gaza Strip. According to Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar on Thursday, deposed Fatah official Mohammad Dahlan has sent the money as part of his preparations for the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.
The newspaper quoted Dahlan loyalists as saying that the payments that have arrived in Jerusalem are estimated to amount to one million shekels ($300,000). Dahlan, they said, believes that the elections are a “golden opportunity” to demonstrate his presence and weight in the Palestinian arena.
However, senior Palestinian officials have asserted that Dahlan will not be allowed to run in the presidential election, because he is a convicted criminal. In 2016, a PA court in Ramallah sentenced him in absentia to three years in prison after finding him guilty of embezzling $16 million. Dahlan has always denied the charges.
Al-Akhbar, however, pointed out that Dahlan does not have to run personally as his supporters plan to run on independent lists. He enjoys wide popularity in densely populated refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, notably Balata in Nablus, Al-Amari in Ramallah and Jenin.
“Dahlan’s base in the West Bank has a hierarchical structure and consists of both armed and unarmed groups led by community leaders who attract the loyalty of the youth,” said the newspaper.
Last week, Hamas thanked Dahlan for helping to secure much-needed medical support for the besieged Gaza Strip to help those suffering from Covid-19. A senior Hamas official expressed the group’s gratitude to Abu Dhabi, where he is based, and Dahlan’s Democratic Reform Bloc for providing the aid, which included equipment for producing liquid oxygen, 30 ventilators and other medical supplies.