PA Arrests Supporters Of Abbas Rival Mohammad Dahlan

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Mohammed Dahlan gestures as he speaks, during an interview with The Associated Press in his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)

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Palestinian Authority security forces arrested members of a rival Fatah movement associated with former Fatah head Mohammad Dahlan on Monday, Dahlan’s faction Democratic Reformist Current said in a statement.

Senior Fatah official General Salim Safiyya, Fatah Revolutionary Council member Haytham al-Halabi, and several others were arrested, according to the statement.

The PA has publicly accused Dahlan of being involved in the decision of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to establish official ties with Israel.

Dahlan, born in the Gaza Strip, was ousted from Fatah in 2011 following claims by Abbas that he murdered Yassir Arafat and violent clashes between the PA and his faction. He fled to Abu Dhabi where he still lives, serving as a special adviser to the ruling family. He is said to have a close relationship with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed.

Dahlan spent several years in an Israeli prison in the past for security-related offenses and more recently has been sentenced in absentia by a Palestinian court for embezzling $16 million.

Dahlan, 59, is considered a possible successor of 84-year-old Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)