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Ex-Fatahist Blasts Abbas-backed Dahlan
by IOL (reposted)
Saturday Jun 16th, 2007 8:24 AM
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 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.

Dahlan-Influenced Abbas

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.

by reposted
Saturday Jun 16th, 2007 4:45 PM
A Fatah security officer who surrendered to Hamas in the Gaza Strip said over the weekend that he and his colleagues did not fight because "we are very disappointed with our leadership."

In an interview by phone with The Jerusalem Post, the 48-year-old officer, who was released unharmed, said: "We decided to surrender to [Hamas's armed wing] Izaddin Kassam because we didn't feel that our commanders and leaders were behind us. Many of our commanders had fled to Ramallah and Cairo, where they were issuing orders to us from air-conditioned hotel rooms."

The officer, who asked not to be named out of fear for his life, said that he and his colleagues gave themselves up to Hamas on Thursday night.

"We were stationed near President Mahmoud Abbas's office in Gaza City," he said. "When we heard that Hamas had captured the headquarters of the Preventive Security and General Intelligence, we knew that this was the end. We were about 50 officers and we all decided to surrender and hand our weapons over to Hamas." The officer, who served in Abbas's elite Presidential Guard force, said the only orders he and his friends had received from their commanders were to try to prevent Hamas militiamen from storming Abbas's office.