Ex-security chief Dahlan launches bid to replace Palestinian Authority’s Abbas

Special to WorldTribune.com

LONDON — A former Gaza Strip security commander plans to replace Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Former PA security commander Mohammed Dahlan, expelled from the West Bank in 2011, intends to run in any presidential race.

Mohammed Dahlan.  /AFP/Getty Images
Mohammed Dahlan. /AFP/Getty Images

Dahlan’s wife, Jalila, said her husband was developing relations with Palestinian movements, including Hamas, as well as Arab states.

“He will either run as an independent candidate, as a Fatah candidate or within a list,” Jalila said.

In an interview with the London-based Al Monitor website on April 12, Dahlan’s wife confirmed details of her husband’s political and diplomatic campaign to become the next Palestinian leader. She confirmed that her 52-year-old husband was in contact with Hamas, which approved her 10-day visit to the family home in Khan Yunis in April.

Jalila said she entered the Gaza Strip from Israel, long a supporter of Dahlan, also known as Abu Fadi. The family now lives in the United Arab Emirates although remains close to Egypt.

“There are many Hamas leaders who call Abu Fadi,” Ms. Dahlan said. “Some
of them have even visited us in our house in the UAE. But these were not
official visits, but social ones.”

In the interview, Ms. Dahlan said her husband would run for PA
president, either as an independent or representing Fatah. But she
acknowledged that Dahlan, under frequent attack by Abbas, would lose to
former Fatah secretary-general Marwan Barghouti, in an Israeli prison
for the last decade.

“Barghouti is indeed pure, but at the same time, he lacks international
connections and political experience, despite being a fighter and despite
the fact that he spent a considerable time in jail,” Ms. Dahlan said. “But
these are two different things.”

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