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'Stop dealing with Dahlan,' Palestinian President Abbas tells Hamas

Abbas urged the Hamas delegation to renew talks for reconciliation between the rival groups [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 August, 2017

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Abbas urged the Hamas delegation to renew talks for reconciliation between the two rival Palestinian groups after fearing Dahlan’s potential growth in the Gaza Strip
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held meetings with Hamas officials to “restart efforts of national unity,” Israeli and Palestinian media sources say.

According to the reports, Abbas urged the Hamas delegation to renew talks for reconciliation between the two rival Palestinian groups after fears of exiled former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan’s potential growth in the Gaza Strip.

In addition to cutting ties with Dahlan, Abbas demanded that Hamas also hold elections in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Authority, in return, are seeking for regular return of electricity in the Strip while calling for the cancellation of the Palestinian Central Bank's decision to prevent transfer of foreign currency to banks in Gaza.

The Hamas delegation included Mahmoud Al-Ramahi, Mohammad Totah, Ayman Daraghmeh, Samir Abu Eisha and Nasser Al-Shaer.

They met Abbas at the Presidential residency in Ramallah.

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

Following the talks, Egypt allowed fuel into Gaza to alleviate a years-long energy crisis, which had been exacerbated by the PA's refusal to pay for electricity to Gaza, deliberately provoking Israel to cut electricity to the besieged enclave and plunging it further into a humanitarian crisis.

This left UAE-backed Dahlan, who is also the security adviser to Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, with the opportunity to intervene and reclaim his political footprint in the enclave.

This has led many analysts to believe that the UAE is trying to spread its influence within the Palestinian political infrastructure through Dahlan.

Dahlan was appointed head of the preventative security force in Gaza between 1994 and 2002, after the Oslo Accords. 

During that time, he launched a crackdown in Gaza and became notorious for his violent treatment of Hamas supporters.

Gaza was nicknamed "Dahlanistan" because of the power Dahlan had acquired in the city.

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