PA says loyalists of deposed Fatah strongman undermining Abbas

Palestinian officials accuse Mohammed Dahlan of funding opposition to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

By World Israel News Staff

A Palestinian Authority official says deposed Palestinian strongman Mohammed Dahlan is funding opposition to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

A Fatah activist told Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh that over the past few weeks Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces loyal to Abbas arrested several Palestinian activists suspected of having contacts with Dahlan, the former head of Palestinian security in Gaza who fled to the United Arab Emirates after the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah accused him of murdering Yasser Arafat in 2011.

Palestinian sources this week accused Dahlan of providing funding for dozens of disgruntled Fatah members as part of his effort to undermine Abbas.

“The money coming from the UAE is being used to purchase weapons,” the sources told Abu Toameh. “Dahlan wants to replace Abbas and that’s why he’s recruiting many Fatah activists.”

“Dahlan has become very active, especially after the signing of the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” a Palestinian official added.

In October clashes broke out in Ramallah and several other locations after Palestinian police broke up a rally in support of Dahlan and arrested several of his followers.

Over the weekend Palestinian police arrested Hani Salloum, a Fatah activist suspected of supporting Dahlan, who was also arrested five years ago for the crime of naming his newborn son after Dahlan.

Last week, a lawyer representing 165 Palestinian Authority employees asked the European Union to help resolve a pay dispute after Abbas reportedly cut their salaries because they are Dahlan supporters.

While in the UAE, Dahlan became close to Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed. When the UAE normalized relations with Israel in September, Dahlan was one of those condemned by the PA for having had a hand behind the scenes in making the deal that they called a “stab in the back” of their cause.

Despite the concern from the PA, a Palestinian public opinion poll published two weeks ago showed that at best Dahlan has the support of only 10% of Palestinians if elections were held now to replace Abbas.

On Monday, the Al Kofiya Arabic television channel reportedly owned by Dahlan will broadcast the first part of a documentary series claiming that Abbas waged a “dirty war” to “liquidate Dahlan,” accusing unnamed Palestinian officials of letting Gaza fall to the Hamas terror group in a bloody 2007 military coup in order to get rid of him.