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UAE 'pumps millions' into Gaza in boost to Dahlan

The former Fatah strongman is a fierce rival of President Mahmoud Abbas. [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 August, 2017

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The UAE will provide $15 million per month to the Gaza Strip in the latest show of support for its ally Mohammad Dahlan.

The United Arab Emirates will provide $15 million per month to the Gaza Strip in the latest show of support for its ally Mohammad Dahlan.

Dahlan has lived in self-imposed exile in Abu Dhabi since being expelled from Fatah in 2011, with the multi-millionaire building close ties with the Emirati elite and Egypt.

In June, reports emerged of a strategic alliance between Dahlan, 55, and Hamas officials in Gaza, with several meetings facilitated by Egyptian officials in Cairo.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has vowed to isolate both Dahlan and Hamas, but their increasing closeness is prompting concerns among Fatah's most senior circles.

"Fifteen million dollars will be pumped monthly from the beginning of next month to the Palestinian Joint Liability Committee in support of relief, humanitarian and development projects in the Gaza Strip to alleviate their suffering," Samir Al-Mashharawi, an ally of Dahlan, said in a statement on Thursday.

The committee was established in the wake of agreements made between Dahlan and Hamas in early July in Cairo.

Dahlan revealed last month that the power-sharing deal with former arch rivals Hamas would see the Egypt-Gaza border opened by late August and provide funding for a $100 million power plant.

Hamas officials have said the group will remain in charge of security in Gaza, with several of Dahlan's lieutenants and key supporters set to return from exile.

Dahlan, a fierce rival of Abbas who has a strong base of support among Fatah members in Gaza, has said he will remain in exile and advocate for Gaza abroad.

The UAE views Dahlan as a favourable mediator at a time when both Cairo and Abu Dhabi seek to reduce Qatar's influence in Gaza.

The Gulf state has traditionally been an important backer of Hamas, something which the Saudi-led coalition has used to justify their blockade against Qatar.

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