The raid took place less than a week after Dahlan was allowed to return
to Ramallah to submit his appeal against the Fatah expulsion. PA sources
acknowledged that Dahlan's return stemmed from pressure by Arab and European
The sources said officers from the Preventive Security Apparatus and
U.S.-trained National Security Forces stormed Dahlan's house and opened fire
toward his bodyguards. They said Dahlan was locked in a room while the PA
force arrested 23 bodyguards and aides as well as seized weapons, cars,
computers and communications equipment. No injuries were reported.
Dumeiri said security forces found 10,000 rounds of ammunition in
Dahlan's home. He said at least two of Dahlan's vehicles were armored.
In June, the Fatah Central Committee expelled Dahlan from the
movement. The committee, in a decision said to have garnered significant
opposition, accused Dahlan of unspecified "criminal acts."
Dahlan, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, has been
regarded as the leading critic of Abbas, who has promised to retire in 2012.
A former PA security chief from the Gaza Strip, Dahlan has been accused of
secret militia meant to oust the Abbas regime.
Hours after the PA raid, Dahlan was said to have left the West Bank for
neighboring Jordan. The sources said Dahlan and his entourage were
thoroughly examined by PA officers before being allowed to cross the Allenby
So far, about 50 Dahlan associates were arrested by the PA. They
included Nidal Abu Sultan, Dahlan's personal assistant. A leading Fatah
member, Sufian Abu Zaideh, has called on Abbas to release the associates.
"President Abbas is responsible for this because he is the one who
issued the orders," Abu Zaideh, a former PA minister, said. "The procedure
against Dahlan is meant to send a message that he should leave the country
and never try to appeal against the unjust decision of discharging him from