Dahlan granted a series of interviews this month to the Arab and
Palestinian media in which he criticized Abbas. Dahlan said Abbas's warning
to dismantle the PA unless Israel ends Jewish construction and agrees to a
Palestinian state was "suicidal."
"This option is suicide and detrimental to the Palestinian people and
must be discussed," Dahlan said. "There are 170,000 PA employees in the
Palestinian Authority. Where will they go? There are 50-60,000 armed men in
the West Bank. What will be their fate?"
Over the last month, Dahlan has come under attack from the PA amid
accusations that he was engineering a coup against Abbas. Abbas has removed
police protection from Dahlan's home in Ramallah, shut his satellite
television station and purged loyalists from the PA security forces.
"There are those who seek to harm our relationship," Dahlan said of
Dahlan acknowledged criticism of Abbas and the PA leadership regarding
negotiations with Israel and the performance of the Ramallah government. He
said Israel does not intend to establish a Palestinian state and urged
massive protests against the Jewish state.
"Imagine if there were half a million Palestinian protesters along the
barriers and effective without violence or the use of weapons," Dahlan said.
Dahlan said the PA's performance has been catastrophic and exhausted its
efforts with Israel and the United States. But he said he was not blaming
Abbas nor seeking to succeed him.
"My problem is that I speak frankly in meetings of the Palestinian
leadership," Dahlan told the Saudi-owned daily Al Hayat on Dec. 7. "At the
last meeting, I said the PA is no longer the authority. The Israeli
occupation returned as it was in the past. We have the authority to provide
services but not hold political power."
PA sources said Abbas has also accused Dahlan of secretly coordinating
with Hamas. They said Dahlan was in contact with a range of Hamas leaders,
including Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
Dahlan denied coordination with Hamas, but acknowledged his disagreement
with Fatah efforts to reconcile with the Islamic opposition. He said Hamas,
which captured the Gaza Strip in 2007, was not interested in reconciliation.
"Although I have reservations on reconciliation, I endorsed it as soon
as Abu Mazen [Abbas] decided," Dahlan said. "The Palestinian political
system cannot progress one step without the unity of Palestinian political
The sources said the Fatah Central Committee has formed a panel to
investigate Dahlan. They said Abbas has established another committee to
examine allegations that Dahlan and others have stolen hundreds of millions
of dollars in official funds. The PA Anti-Corruption Commission was said to
be investigating more than 50 cases.
Dahlan has been touring the Middle East and meeting Arab as well
as Fatah leaders in Lebanon. In November and December, Dahlan met Egyptian
intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Omar Suleiman, Jordan's King Abdullah and
leading Saudi princes.
"So far, I am the only one who is respected in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi
Arabia," Dahlan said.