Palestinian security forces arrest aides of Abu Dhabi-based Dahlan, accused of role in UAE-Israel normalisation

Palestinian security forces arrest aides of Abu Dhabi-based Dahlan, accused of role in UAE-Israel normalisation
Former Palestinian security chief, Mohammed Dahlan, has been living in exile in the UAE.
2 min read
22 September, 2020
Dahlan has a feared reputation due to his role as former Palestinian security chief [Getty]
Palestinian security forces have arrested supporters of Mohammed Dahlan, an exiled politician who has been linked to a controversial normalisation agreement between Israel and the UAE.

The Dahlan faction stated on Monday that seven officials linked to the UAE-based former security chief were detained in the West Bank after swoops by the Palestinian Authority [PA]. 

A statement from the faction stated that General Salim Safiyya, a senior Fatah official, and Fatah Revolutionary Council member Haytham Al-Halabi, were among those detained. 

It also mentioned that "dozens" of members of the Dahlan grouping have been arrested in a recent crackdown by PA security.

Imad Mohsen, a spokesperson for the faction, said in a statement alleged that the arrests were "politically motivated", due to Dahlan being perceived as a rival to President Mahmoud Abbas.

Dimitri Diliani, a spokesperson for the Dahlan-affiliated Democratic Reformist Current, told The Times of Israel that dozens of its members have been jailed since Israel normalised relations with the UAE, a move which has been strongly opposed by the PA.

"This is an attempt by Abu Mazen [Abbas] to distract from his diplomatic failures, from the normalisation deals with Israel," Daliani said, according to the Israeli daily.

"This is an attempt to hide the fact that the Dahlanists have now become a large faction within Fatah."

Dahlan, a former leading Fatah official, split with Abbas in 2010 and was forced into exile in the UAE after being accused of plotting a coup in Ramallah and corruption.

He played a lead role in the brutal, but unsuccessful, attempted overthrow of the Hamas authority in Gaza in 2007, when he fled to the West Bank.

Dahan is believed to have cultivated good relations with the Abu Dhabi leadership and US since being forced out of the West Bank.

Last week, Dahlan rebuked comments made by the US ambassador to Israel stating that Washington was "thinking about" appointing him as leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Friedman added the US has "no desire to engineer the Palestinian leadership".

Dahlan posted on his official Facebook page on Thursday: "He who is not elected by his people will not be able to lead and achieve national independence."

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