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Tuesday, June 14, 2011     GET REAL

Fatah expels, files charages against leading critic of Abbas

RAMALLAH — The ruling Fatah movement has expelled a former security chief who seeks to take over the Palestinian leadership.


The Fatah Central Committee expelled Mohammed Dahlan and declared that he was no longer a member of the ruling Palestinian movement. Palestinian sources said Dahlan was expelled at a meeting of the Central Committee in Ramallah on June 11. The vote for expulsion was reported as 13-0 with six members abstaining.

"The committee decided also to bring Dahlan to justice based on criminal, financial and other charges made by a Fatah investigative commission and to continue interrogating other people named by the commission," the Palestinian news agency Wafa said on June 12.

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Wafa, controlled by the Palestinian Authority, did not detail the charges against Dahlan, who founded the Preventive Security Apparatus in the Gaza Strip, Middle East Newsline reported. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has alleged that Dahlan was seeking to overthrow the regime in Ramallah.

Until 2011, Dahlan was regarded as the leading critic of Abbas in the Fatah Central Committee. At one point, Dahlan was said to have suggested that Abbas' sons were involved in illicit PA deals.

In November 2010, Abbas ordered the expulsion of Dahlan from the West Bank. Dahlan sent his family to Amman, Jordan while he sought to repair his ties to neighboring Arab states, particularly Egypt. in April, Dahlan was accused of instigating an attack on the Palestinian ambassador to Algeria, Hocine Abdul Halek.

Fatah sources said the decision to expel Dahlan must be confirmed by a two-thirds majority of the Fatah Revolutionary Council. They said the council, believed controlled by Abbas, was likely to support the Central Committee's decision.

Abbas has also been cracking down on dissent in the West Bank, particularly from followers of Dahlan. Earlier this month, the PA blocked five Web sites linked to Dahlan supporters in the Gaza Strip. The sites were identified as Ahmad, Falastin Beituna, Firas Press, Kofia Press and Pal Voice. Earlier, the PA shut down a television station owned by Dahlan aides.

For his part, Dahlan has denied any plans to overthrow the PA. He blamed the PA crackdown on aides of Abbas.

"They have convinced President Abbas that he is God and that he can do anything he wants," Dahlan said in a statement on YouTube.

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