The wife of Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan arrived in the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
Palestinian sources said that Jalilah Dahlan entered the Gaza through the Erez crossing point.
The sources said that her visit to the Gaza Strip was in the context of her activities as chairwoman of a charitable organization and was coordinated with the Hamas government.
Her husband was expelled from Fatah three years ago after falling out with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas has since accused Dahlan of conspiring against him and involvement in the assassination of six Fatah officials in the Gaza Strip.
Abbas has also held Dahlan, a former PA security commander, responsible for the “assassination” of Yasser Arafat.
Dahlan has retorted by accusing Abbas of conspiring against Arafat before the latter’s death in 2004. Dahlan has also accused Abbas’s sons of financial corruption. A PA official in Ramallah expressed fear that the visit to the Gaza Strip by Dahlan’s wife was aimed at paving the way for the return of her husband to the area.
Dahlan, who currently lives in the United Arab Emirates, has many followers in Gaza.
Hamas recently permitted some of Dahlan’s loyalists who fled Gaza several years ago to return to their homes.
Earlier this year, Abbas dispatched a senior Fatah delegation to the Gaza Strip in a bid to prevent a possible rapprochement between Dahlan and Hamas. Abbas has also cut off salaries to dozens of Fatah security officers in Gaza who are suspected of being affiliated with Dahlan.