Lurking in the backwoods of Palestinian politics is a man whom 79-year-old Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recognizes as his deadly rival. Thirty years younger than Abbas, he has been a thorn in the president’s flesh from the moment of his election, continually criticizing him for weak leadership and corruption, a charge he extends to Abbas’s two sons. In response, Abbas has had him and his followers expelled from the Fatah party and exiled from the West Bank, and has hurled a barrage of  accusations against him, including that of colluding with Israeli agents to poison the revered ex-Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

This 52-year-old hate figure – hated and feared not only by Abbas, but by all within the Fatah movement with aspirations to succeed the aging president – is Mohammed Yusuf Dahlan.

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