(photo credit: AP)
Former Fatah security commander Muhammad Dahlan announced on Wednesday he plans
to return to the West Bank this week to answer allegations that he plotted a
coup against the Palestinian Authority leadership.
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A special commission
of inquiry established by PA President Mahmoud Abbas is also trying to establish
the sources of Dahlan’s personal fortune.
A source close to Dahlan
accused Abbas of being “paranoid,” claiming the dispute between the two men
began after Dahlan accused Abbas’s two sons of exploiting their father’s
position to make millions of dollars.
Dahlan’s announcement came one day
after the Fatah Central Committee, in an unprecedented move, voted unanimously
to suspend his membership in the committee pending the end of the
The decision means that Dahlan, who is currently residing in
Cairo, will not be able to attend meetings of the Fatah committee.
committee also voted to remove Dahlan from his position as “holder of the
information and cultural portfolio” in Fatah.
Earlier this month, the PA
closed down a TV station owned by Dahlan in Ramallah.
He said he had
reservations about the way the committee chose to publish its measures against
him, and that he was prepared to answer all questions presented to him by
members of the inquiry commission.
Dahlan said that to date, the Fatah
Central Committee had not notified him of the measures against him.
added that it was “inappropriate” for Fatah to discuss its internal affairs in
He also hinted that the dispute between him and Abbas was
“Some in Fatah have been trying for the past two months to make
this look as if it’s a political crisis related to the divisions [with Hamas]
and the conflict with the Israeli government,” he said without
Dahlan said he did not want to be responsible for weakening
Fatah and therefore agreed to cooperate with the first commission of inquiry
Abbas had established to look into the charges against him.
“I went to
the first commission of inquiry and answered all their questions,” he said. “But
President Mahmoud Abbas did not like the findings of that commission and decided
to establish a new one.”
Dahlan, who founded and headed the PA’s
Preventive Security Force in the Gaza Strip after the signing of the Oslo
Accords, strongly denied allegations that he and his supporters had been
stockpiling weapons and ammunition in preparation for toppling the PA leadership
in the West Bank.
“These false claims and fabrications are aimed at
defaming Fatah,” Dahlan said. “I only have a few guards and light
The guards were taken away before the commission of inquiry
began its work.”