The British Middle East Eye news site reported that the prospects for the return of Muhammad Dahlan, a former leader of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah), to the Palestinian territories are shrouded in doubts due to what is rumored about his role in the normalization agreement concluded by the UAE with Israel.
The site stated, at Reporter Adam Khalil Resident in the Gaza Strip, Dahlan has become the object of the anger of the Palestinians who accuse him of treason because of his alleged role in that normalization agreement.
Dahlan is currently working as an advisor to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed. He has resided in the UAE since his expulsion from the occupied West Bank in 2011, following a dispute with the President of the National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement.
According to the British website, Dahlan’s close ties with the Emirati leadership led the members of Fatah to suggest that he might be one of the architects of the normalization agreement, which prompted many Palestinians to ask what he would gain from that deal.
These suspicions were further reinforced by rumors of secret clauses in the agreement, and hints from the Israeli media about a possible return of Dahlan to Palestinian political life.
Last week, “Israel Today” newspaper sparked a controversy after an interview with US Ambassador David Friedman, who hinted that Washington is considering supporting Dahlan as the next president of the Palestinian Authority.
However, the newspaper quickly retracted the news, saying that it had made a mistake in transmitting the ambassador’s statement, but the events that followed normalization between Israel and the UAE raised questions, especially after Dahlan’s first official statement, which he drafted very carefully, avoiding any explicit condemnation of the agreement.
For his part, Dahlan published a post on his official page on the social networking site, Facebook, in response to the statements attributed to Ambassador Friedman, in which he said, “Whoever is not elected by his people will not be able to lead and achieve national independence, and I, Muhammad Dahlan, fully believe that Palestine urgently needs to renew the legitimacy of leaders and institutions. This will only be achieved through comprehensive and transparent national elections, and no one has yet been born who can impose his will on us … “
The Fatah Central Committee expelled Dahlan in 2011, over allegations that he was involved in the death of the late President Yasser Arafat. A Palestinian court sentenced him in absentia in 2016 to 3 years in prison and fined him $ 16 million after convicting him in large-scale corruption cases in Gaza, charges that his supporters described as malicious accusations stemming from a personal dispute with President Mahmoud Abbas, who is 84 years old.
The Middle East Eye report quoted official Palestinian circles close to Abbas believing that Dahlan was “primarily responsible” for arranging the agreement between the UAE and Israel, claiming that “personal interest” was his motive.
He attributed to Nabil Shaath, Abbas’s special advisor, that he had no doubt that Dahlan played a major role in drafting and implementing the agreement, accusing him of seeking to strengthen his relationship with the rulers of the Emirates, preserving the “advantages” he enjoys as an advisor to bin Zayed, and gaining the support of the United States and Israel for his return. Political life inside Palestine.
He has no real chance
However, Shaath does not see any real opportunity for Dahlan in Palestine after he “betrayed” his cause and acted against the interests of his people by his “blatant” involvement in pushing for Arab normalization with Israel, a role that many Palestinians disapproved of on the pretext that it gives “a green Arab light” for Israel to continue in Occupation, expansion and violation of Palestinian rights.
The author of the report believes that Abbas’s advanced age, and the lack of elections since 2005, have raised speculation about his successor to the presidency of the Palestinian Authority.
According to the same journalist, the announcement – which was issued Thursday by the Fatah and Hamas movements agreeing to hold parliamentary and presidential elections within the next six months – only raised more questions.
Abbas’s allies strongly reject the possibility that Dahlan is a “suitable candidate” for the presidency of the PNA.
Shaath told the British website, saying in a sharp tone, “If Dahlan returns, he will appear before the Palestinian courts, facing charges of corruption and harming the Palestinian national interests, and he will not run in the elections.”
Unsuccessful and traitorous
Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, also spoke with the same intensity, describing Dahlan as a “failure and a traitor,” adding that he had no place in Palestinian life.
He pointed out that the role Dahlan played in the Emirati-Israeli normalization agreement, saying, “It will not strengthen him. Rather, it is a shame for him and reveals his true face.”
“There is no American umbrella,” Zaki sarcastically said, referring to Dahlan’s reliance on the possibility of Washington’s support for him in order to return to the presidential elections.