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Monday, August 29, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Fatah probe fails to link Dahlan to Arafat's death

RAMALLAH — An official investigation has failed to find former Palestinian Authority security chief Mohammed Dahlan responsible for the death of Yasser Arafat.


A leading Fatah member denied reports that the movement's Central Committee determined that Dahlan was linked to Arafat's death in 2004. Tawfik Tirawi, also former commander of the PA General Intelligence Services, asserted that the committee's investigation did not determine how Arafat died.

"I am responsible for the Fatah commission of inquiry into the assassination of President Arafat," Tirawi said. "We did not condemn anyone."

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Fatah has repeatedly claimed that Arafat was killed, probably poisoned, when he died in a French hospital nearly seven years ago. Several leading Fatah members aligned with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Dahlan helped Israel in the alleged assassination.

But in an interview with the Saudi-owned Al Hayat daily, Tirawi dismissed reports that Dahlan was linked to Arafat's death, Middle East Newsline reported. He said the results of the Fatah investigation would be announced as soon as the probe was concluded.

In July, Dahlan's home was raided by PA security forces and he was expelled from the West Bank. Fatah leaders said the movement has linked Dahlan with the killing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as well as massive corruption.

Tirawi, regarded as a critic of Abbas, played down the PA chairman's efforts to reconcile Fatah with Hamas. The former security chief, citing a reconciliation accord in May, asserted that Hamas has no interest to disband its regime in the Gaza Strip, established in 2007.

"The Muslim Brotherhood now has a foothold in Gaza that it has waited for more than 60 years, and there is no indication that they want to leave, especially in light of what is happening in the Arab countries," Tirawi said. "The Muslim Brotherhood believes that the time is on its side."

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