Palestinian president Abbas stands between PM Haniyeh and senior Fatah leader Dahlan in Gaza.
(photo credit: SUHAIB SALEM / REUTERS)
Hamas security forces have arrested a cell formed by a crony of the exiled former Fatah stalwart, Mohammad Dahlan, aimed at staging a coup in the Gaza Strip, the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Arabi al-Jadeed reported Wednesday.
The cell, forged by the former head of the Palestinian Authority General Intelligence Services Tawfik Tirawi, was allegedly preparing to carry out a series of assassinations against Fatah leaders in Gaza, and paint them as part of an "ISIS scheme to destabilize the Gaza Strip."
According to Yahya Musa, a member of the Hamas Legislature in Gaza, the cell was headed by a Fatah activist named Marwa al-Masri, an ardent supporter of Dahlan, who maintained contact with Tirawi. Masri was arrested by Hamas security forces on April 20, as she tried to leave Gaza for the West Bank.
Musa said that Hamas conveyed the information related to the cell to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in order to urge him to take measures against Tirawi. The latter, as claimed by Musa, was planning to sow insecurity in Gaza, in order to paint it as a beacon of terror and instability, thereby enabling Dahlan to present himself as "Gaza's savior" and seize power.
A report disseminated on Twitter by a user named Tameh Gazawi, claimed that Dahlan has appointed Masri to establish armed forces that would carry out terror attacks against people affiliated with Hamas and the Iran-linked al-Sabireen movement.
According to the report, the responsibility for these attacks was to be claimed by Fatah members who pretended to be fighters in "Gaza Province," ISIS's branch in the coastal city.
The report specified that those Fatah members were documented as ISIS fighters in special videos in which they wore military uniforms and threatened to attack Hamas and kill Shi'ites in Gaza.
Masri herself thoroughly denied Hamas's allegations about her and said that by spreading such reports, Hamas aims at igniting a war inside Fatah. She added that there is no coup plot against the movement's leaders and that these are only "disagreements."