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Ex-Fatahist Blasts Abbas-backed Dahlan
CAIRO — Mohammad Dahlan, the Fatah MP and national security advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is largely to blame for the escalating Gaza crisis as he used his strong influence and Abbas's blind confidence to thwart any reconciliation bid between Fatah and Hamas after the latter came to power last year, a former Fatah official said Saturday, June 16.
"Dahlan is the main culprit behind this crisis," Hassan told IslamOnline.net in an interview on Saturday, June 16.
"He exploited the strong political influence he wields to implicate all parties, and is fueling the situation in the West Bank now," he charged.
The situation has taken a dramatic U-turn in the Palestinian lands after Hamas touted rival Fatah and wrested control over the entire Gaza Strip Friday, June 15.
In response, Abbas dissolved the power-sharing government between Hamas and Fatah, and tasked former finance minister with forming an emergency cabinet in the West Bank.
On Saturday, Fatah-linked gunmen ransacked dozens of offices linked to Hamas including charities, an Islamic school and local television and radio in Nablus.
A commander of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades also called on Hamas members in the West Bank to turn their weapons in to the Palestinian Authority, saying Hamas was now a banned group.
Hassan said Dahlan has emerged as powerful and influential thanks to the staunch backing from the United States and Israel.
"Dahlan used the money he was granted by Israel and the US to pay the salaries of up to 2,000 officers and thus control security apparatuses," affiliated with the Palestinian Authority, said Hassan.
Hassan, who is now an independent politician, said Dahlan's leverage has also grown greatly thanks to the trust given to him by Abbas.
"He has grown more influential inside Fatah and in the Palestinian territories as he won Abbas's confidence and trust," he said.
Hassan blamed Abbas for the blind confidence he placed in Dahlan.