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Wednesday, January 5, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Exiled to Jordan, Dahlan denies anti-Abbas plot

RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority is continuing its crackdown against Fatah dissident leader Mohammed Dahlan.


Palestinian sources said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the expulsion of Dahlan from the West Bank amid allegations that the former Fatah security chief sought to engineer a coup. The sources said Dahlan had been interrogated and was confronted by what was termed evidence that he planned to overthrow Abbas.

"He will no longer be welcome in the Palestinian areas until further notice," a Palestinian source said.

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The sources said the 50-year-old Dahlan has left the West Bank for neighboring Jordan, Middle East Newsline reported. In November, Dahlan, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, moved his family from Ramallah to the Jordanian capital of Amman after a PA decision to reduce security around his home.

Dahlan has denied the alleged coup plot. He said the PA crackdown was in response to his criticism of policy, particularly negotiations with Israel.

The sources said Abbas, as head of Fatah, threatened to strip Dahlan of all positions in the ruling movement. They said Abbas has ordered the dismissal of at least of 50 PA security officers believed aligned to Dahlan. One of those dismissed was Yusef Issa Yaakoub, deputy commander of the General Intelligence Services.

On Jan. 3, the Fatah Central Committee said Dahlan had been suspended because of coup allegations. A committee statement said the suspension would continue "until the inquiry committee has finished its job."

Dahlan was said to have garnered support within Fatah, including the Central Committee. The chairman of the Fatah investigating committee, Abu Mahar Ghaneim, has already resigned.

"These reports are humiliating to the Fatah movement," Dahlan said in interviews to the Arab media. "Accusing me of conspiring against Abbas is unacceptable."

Dahlan's chief aide, Mutaz Khadeir, was also arrested by the PA. The sources said Khadeir was arrested in Ramallah on Dec. 31 for what was termed "security reasons."

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