Several Arab states are reportedly putting pressure on Palestinian political factions to reinstate exiled former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan and field him against Hamas in the upcoming elections.
Sources told Arabic Post news website on Saturday that the UAE, Egypt and Jordan are trying to compel Fatah, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to reinstate the Israeli-backed Dahlan and his supporters.
As Palestinians prepare to vote in their first elections in 15 years, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar warned Israel not to interfere— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) February 5, 2021
Abbas dismissed Dahlan from the movement in 2011 and stripped the 58-year-old of all his merits, after which he fled to the United Arab Emirates.
Last September, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman set off an uproar after suggesting Washington was considering supporting Dahlan to overthrow Abbas as the next Palestinian Authority chief.
Dahlan was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison in 2016 by a Palestinian court for corruption, and ordered to repay $16 million, according to his lawyers.
Dahlan once led a coup against the elected Hamas government in Gaza in 2007. The plan was a massive failure which saw Hamas rout out Dahlan's forces in a matter of days in the summer of 2007.
President Abbas announced in a decree last month that the 2021 general elections will include legislative elections being held on May 22, presidential elections on July 31 and the Palestinian National Council elections on August 31.
Leaders of 14 Palestinian political factions, including Hamas and Fatah, are scheduled to start a comprehensive national dialog in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on February 8, aiming to reach an agreement on the mechanism for holding the general elections in Palestine.
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