“No Abbas, no Hamas,” says former Fatah leader


Published: 2024-02-14 16:52

Last Updated: 2024-04-16 16:57

Editor: Sara Al Faqir

“No Abbas, no Hamas,” says former Fatah leader
“No Abbas, no Hamas,” says former Fatah leader

Former Fatah leader and current adviser to the president of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed Dahlan, shared his perspective on the Palestinian crisis, stating that neither Abbas nor Hamas will play a role in its resolution.

During an interview with the American newspaper, The New York Times, Dahlan, proposed a solution wherein the Israeli Occupation and Hamas would hand over authority to an independent Palestinian leader capable of rebuilding Gaza under the protection of Arab peacekeeping forces.

The newspaper notes that Dahlan offered insights into the thoughts of Arab leaders during their private discussions on post-Gaza war plans. It emphasizes that few Arab leaders have dared to publicly propose plans for the future of the devastated region, fearing accusations of endorsing certain actions.

"While such plans face steep challenges, the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are open to supporting processes that are part of efforts leading to a Palestinian state," said Dahlan. 

Dahlan, who also maintains a strong relationship with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, asserts this readiness.

Two Palestinian officials, speaking anonymously, disclosed that representatives from six Arab governments convened in Saudi Arabia last week to discuss the future of Gaza and the imperative of establishing a ceasefire.

A fresh Palestinian leader would take charge of Gaza and the sections of the "Israeli"-occupied West Bank currently under the administration of the Palestinian Authority, Dahlan proposed. 

This new leader would replace Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the 88-year-old president of the authority, who would retain a ceremonial position, he added. 

“No Abbas, no Hamas,” said Dahlan.

Dahlan was Abbas' national security adviser when Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, and he had a reputation for brutality that made him unpopular with many Palestinians. His relationship with Abbas deteriorated amid perceptions that he was trying to succeed him, and he was convicted of corruption in absentia, on charges he denies, in 2016.

In the UAE, he built close relationships with members of the royal family, initially reconnecting with Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, his former counterpart in the Emirati security establishment. He also connected with Sheikh Hazza’s brother, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, who became president in 2022.

Dahlan has since become one of his key advisers.

Dahlan still has critics who say that he used heavy-handed tactics in Gaza, and that he had a tendency for self-promotion. But he is a significant force in Palestinian politics, analysts say, partly the result of his helping to steer Emirati funds to Gaza.

He oversees a political party that was seen as a possible kingmaker during a 2021 election campaign in the West Bank and Gaza, before the vote was canceled. He coordinates regularly with other Palestinian opposition leaders in a loose network seeking to unseat Abbas.

When it comes to the ongoing war on Gaza, Dahlan mentioned that some of his family members had been killed in Gaza, and many of their residences were destroyed.

Originally from southern Gaza, Dahlan grew up in the same city as Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader. 

Dahlan aligned with Fatah, Hamas' secular rival, and eventually served as the Palestinian Authority's security chief in Gaza. However, he was outside Gaza during Hamas's takeover in 2007, resulting in the loss of his authority and his subsequent relocation to the West Bank.

His rift with Abbas occurred four years later, leading to his expulsion from Fatah. Following a raid on his home in Ramallah by Palestinian security forces, Dahlan fled into exile.