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memri
November 28, 2016 No.
1282

The 'Abbas-Dahlan Power Struggle Over The Palestinian Presidential Succession

By: B. Shanee*

Introduction

A recent focus in the Palestinian press has been the power struggle between Palestinian Authority (PA) President and Fatah chairman Mahmoud 'Abbas and former Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Dahlan, who was expelled from the movement in 2011 and is currently attempting to influence the Palestinian agenda and to empower his supporters in the face of 'Abbas's steps to exclude him from the Palestinian political scene.

Dahlan has been demonstrating his strength in a number of ways: in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through conferences and protests organized by his supporters there, and also through efforts to strengthen ties between Egypt and the Gaza Strip; and in the Palestinian diaspora with conferences organized by his supporters in Lebanese refugee camps and in Europe. At the same time, 'Abbas is trying with all his might to completely exclude Dahlan and his supporters from Fatah, and to end the ongoing internal conflict in the movement with an institutional resolution to be approved at the Seventh Fatah Conference, which is set for November 29, 2016.

The escalation in the power struggle between 'Abbas and Dahlan is linked to the debate on the future of the Palestinian leadership, particularly the question of who 'Abbas's successor will be. This latter issue goes beyond the Palestinian discourse, in light of efforts by the Arab Quartet (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE), and especially by Egypt, to influence the composition of the Palestinian leadership by including Dahlan in it and by grooming him to succeed 'Abbas as Fatah chairman and Palestinian president.[1] On October 6, 2016, the debate over 'Abbas's successor became more urgent after the 82-year-old 'Abbas was rushed to the hospital for a cardiac catheterization.

It is notable that in interviews, Dahlan has repeatedly stated that he is not seeking the Palestinian presidency and that he supports the candidacy of Fatah official Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for attacks he orchestrated during the second Intifada.[2] However, Dahlan's political activity, as set out below, indicates that he does aspire to attain a very influential position in the Palestinian leadership, even if not necessarily that of president.

A notable manifestation of Dahlan's attempts to establish himself as part of the Palestinian leadership as the 'Abbas era comes to an end was the publication of an article critical of 'Abbas by former PA official Muhammad Rashid, a Dahlan associate who served as economic advisor to Yasser Arafat. The article, titled "'Abbas is a Political Corpse Awaiting Burial," stated that 'Abbas is wasting time as he weighs the reliability of those who aspire to be the next president. 'Abbas, he wrote, is attempting to stage-manage his exit on his own, without input from Fatah, or from the Palestinian people who will demand the right to elect their next leader in free elections. Subsequently, Mahmoud Abu Al-Hija, editor-in-chief of the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, published a rebuttal to Rashid, accusing him of corruption, collaborating with Israel, and betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

This report will review the manifestations of the rivalry between the 'Abbas and Dahlan camps in recent weeks, and will provide excerpts of the pieces by Rashid and Al-Hija as examples of the discourse of the two rival camps.

With Arab Quartet Support, Dahlan Prepares The Ground For His Return To Senior Palestinian Leadership

As stated, in recent weeks, Dahlan has made vigorous efforts to stand out in the Palestinian arena as a political figure counterbalancing 'Abbas, as manifested by widespread media activity, including giving interviews to four different media outlets in two weeks. He has also made statements on the political process and on the situation of Fatah and of Palestinian society.[3]

The Arab Quartet countries, and especially Egypt, have clearly shown their support for Dahlan's activity and for his efforts to increase his impact on what is happening within Fatah. One reflection of this was the holding of two conferences, in October and November 2016, on the future of Fatah and the Palestinian issue at the Ain Al-Sokhna resort in Egypt. These conferences served as a platform for Dahlan supporters in the complete absence of Fatah members close to 'Abbas. The first, held October 16-17, was attended by 100-plus Palestinian and Egyptian politicians and businessmen, the vast majority of whom were close to Dahlan.[4] The conference concluded with a call for Palestinian unity and with an expression of support for Egyptian and Arab policy for it.[5] The second conference, held November 6-8, which purported to focus on economic issues but in fact was mainly political in nature, was also attended by many Dahlan supporters. The conferees called for opening the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip for the passage of people and goods[6] and for strengthening ties between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and even issued an open letter to 'Abbas of recommendations for ending the Palestinian schism.[7]

At the time the conferences were held, the Rafah Crossing was indeed opened intermittently, in an unusual measure, for the passage of students, permit holders and humanitarian cases.[8] During this period, the Egyptian media published many articles criticizing 'Abbas for his response to the measures of the Arab Quartet vis-à-vis  the Palestinian issue.[9]   

Although Dahlan was not present at either of the conferences, and refrained from stating publicly that he was directly involved in them, several weeks before they were held, reports indicated that he planned to hold a conference in Cairo, and Dahlan himself called to hold a conference for Palestinian dialogue.[10] In interviews held at the same time as the conferences he indicated that he was leveraging his connections with Egypt and other Arab countries in order to promote the Palestinian national enterprise and to support the residents of the Gaza Strip.[11]

Additionally, a conference marking the anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death and calling for Fatah unity was held in Brussels on November 22, and was attended by many pro-Dahlan Fatah members in Europe.[12] News websites close to Dahlan reported that the conference was under the auspices of "the Fatah movement" but had nevertheless been condemned by the movement's official representations in Europe, and that the hundreds of Fatah activists who attended the conference had stressed the need for unity and condemned 'Abbas's measures against Dahlan and his supporters.[13] Dahlan also told BBC Arabic in an interview that he intended to act to hold yet another national conference to settle the Palestinian disputes, and that Egypt would play a major role in it.[14]


Images from the October 16-17, 2016 "Egypt and the Palestinian Issue" conference in Ain Al-Sokhna  (Karamapress.net, October 17, 2016)

The Palestinian conferences in Egypt and the concurrent easing of restrictions at the Rafah crossing highlight Dahlan and his supporters as key figures who wield influence with Egypt and who noticeably contribute to improving the economic situation in the Gaza Strip. Thus, these moves are a direct continuation of Egypt's policy as part of the Arab Quartet initiative to bring about a Palestinian reconciliation that includes Dahlan's return to Fatah and PA leadership.[15]

It is therefore unsurprising that Fatah justified its opposition to the Egyptian conferences in the same way it justified its opposition to the Arab Quartet's initiative to promote Fatah reconciliation. Fatah Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said that the organizers of the conferences should have coordinated any debate on internal Fatah issues with the movement's official and legitimate leadership, adding that Fatah did not interfere in the affairs of others, and expects others to avoid interfering in its affairs.[16]

'Abbas himself subsequently reacted to Egyptian support for Dahlan by making a visit to Egypt's rival countries, Qatar and Turkey, on October 23-28, 2016, which included meetings with their heads of state and foreign ministers. According to Arab reports, 'Abbas's meetings were meant to send a signal to his traditional allies, chiefly Egypt, that he is able to forge contacts with other allies that back him rather than Dahlan.[17]

Fatah and PA leadership responded to Dahlan's political and media activity by preparing for the Seventh Fatah Conference, set to be held in Ramallah on November 29, 2016.[18] Preparations for the conference, which was scheduled to be held over two years ago but was repeatedly postponed, ramped up immediately after reports were published about Dahlan's intention to hold a conference in Cairo and following his call, on September 21, 2016, to hold a conference for Palestinian dialogue.[19] It seems that holding the Seventh Fatah Conference at this specific time serves two purposes: first, to send a message that Fatah's official institutions, led by 'Abbas, are the ones shaping the movement's agenda, and by extension, the greater Palestinian agenda; and second, to officially and completely remove Dahlan from the movement's ranks.[20] Recently, Fatah member Ashraf Jum'a, a Dahlan associate, announced that preparations were underway for an alternative Fatah Conference that would renounce the Seventh Conference and elect its own Central Committee and Revolutionary Council for the movement, instead of the ones elected at the Seventh Conference.[21] At a November 26, 2016 press conference in Gaza, pro-Dahlan Fatah members declared that the Seventh Conference was a national disaster and that they would not recognize its outcomes.[22]

Reports indicate that the Seventh Fatah Conference will deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Fatah-Hamas schism, and with reorganizing the ranks of Fatah.[23] Unlike previous conferences, which were attended by thousands of activists, only 1,400 Fatah members of various ranks were invited to this one, excluding many Dahlan supporters.[24]


October 20, 2016 preparatory meeting for the Seventh Fatah Conference chaired by Mahmoud 'Abbas (Wafa.ps, October 20, 2016)

On their part, Dahlan and his supporters oppose holding the Seventh Conference at the designated date, arguing that it is nothing but an attempt at a coup against Fatah and its heritage, and call for unity in Fatah - meaning the restoration of the Dahlan camp's full membership in the movement and its institutions.[25]

There have also been reports that the Arab Quartet has taken steps to prevent the Seventh Conference from taking place, notably reports that Jordan intends to revoke the Jordanian citizenship of Fatah members who attend it, although these reports were denied by elements in the Jordanian government,[26] as well as articles in the Egyptian press supporting Egypt's stance on the Palestinian issue, and Egyptian and Jordanian articles criticizing 'Abbas for his positions and conduct.[27] It is possible that the halt of monthly cash transfers from Saudi Arabia to the PA in early November is also tied to the rift with 'Abbas.[28]

Arab media also recently reported that on November 9, 2016, a meeting took place in Ramallah between 'Abbas and a high-ranking delegation headed by Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abu Al-Gheit and his two predecessors, Amr Moussa and Nabil Al-Arabi. The three tried to pressure 'Abbas to agree to the appointment of a successor and enable Dahlan to return to the Palestinian political arena. According to the reports, these attempts were also rebuffed by 'Abbas.[29]  

 
Cartoon in Jordanian government daily: 'Abbas walking a tightrope (Al-Rai, Jordan, November 23, 2016) 

Attempts By 'Abbas To Suppress Activity By Dahlan And His Supporters In West Bank And Gaza

Dahlan's efforts to display his strength vis-à-vis 'Abbas, and 'Abbas' efforts to suppress Dahlan and his supporters, were manifest at the local level as well, in clashes between their respective supporters in the West Bank, and even armed clashes in the refugee camps of Al-Am'ari near Ramallah and Balata near Nablus, and in Jenin refugee camp.[30] The violence in the Al-Am'ari camp erupted after Dahlan supporters convened a conference on October 22, 2016. The stated objective of the gathering, which was the first show of strength of its kind by Dahlan supporters in the West Bank, was to call for unity among the Fatah factions ahead of the movement's Seventh Conference, and to voice support for the Arab Quartet's initiative to affect internal reconciliation in Fatah. On orders from 'Abbas, the Palestinian security apparatuses dispersed the conference minutes after it began, on the grounds that it was being held without a license.[31] In addition, Fatah took disciplinary measures against its organizers, including Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Jihad Tamalia, who was expelled from the movement[32] and activist Rifat 'Alian, who was dismissed from his position as the movement's spokesperson in Jerusalem.[33] According to reports, the movement also recommended taking measures against 17 others, including PLC member Jamal Al-Tirawi.[34] Jihad Tamalia's expulsion from the movement precipitated another wave of violent clashes between the PA security apparatuses and activists in Al-Am'ari who demonstrated their support for him.[35]

Alongside reports that senior Fatah officials who support Dahlan have been expelled from the movement, it was recently reported that at least 50 Fatah members in the Gaza Strip did not receive their October salaries because 'Abbas had ordered their salaries frozen due to their support of Dahlan.[36] This measure provoked fury amongst Fatah activists in Gaza, and a group of them called it a crime that would not be passed over in silence and -urged the Arab states and the international community to reexamine their support for the PA.[37]


Fatah officials close to Dahlan protest the withholding of their salary at a November 6, 2016 Gaza Press conference (Khbrpress.com, November 6, 2016)

Another notable reaction by Fatah against Dahlan and his supporters was the ratification of the order stripping Mohammed Dahlan of his parliamentary immunity. On November 6, 2016 the Palestinian Constitutional Court, established by 'Abbas in April 2016, ruled that the PA president was authorized to strip a PLC member of his immunity as long as the PLC was not convening. The court thereby determined that 'Abbas' presidential decree of January 3, 2012 stripping Dahlan of his parliamentary immunity was valid. Following this ruling, Yahya Rabbah, a Fatah Consultative Council member close to 'Abbas, announced that the movement would prosecute Dahlan.[38]

Likewise, on November 10, 2016, during the official ceremony marking the 12th anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death, 'Abbas hinted that Dahlan was involved in Arafat's death, saying: "If they asked me, I would say that I know [who was behind Arafat's -death], but my testimony is insufficient."[39] Two days later, Dahlan responded to this statement on his official Facebook page, calling to "immediately stop the cheap trade in the martyrdom of president Arafat" and adding that 'Abbas also was on the suspect list because he was the only one who had derived benefit from Arafat's removal.[40]


Dahlan Facebook post responding to 'Abbas's statements (Facebook.com/mohammad.dahlan2, November 12, 2016)

The schism between the 'Abbas and Dahlan camps was also felt in conferences in the Palestinian diaspora marking Arafat's death, including the abovementioned conference in Brussels attended by pro-Dahlan Fatah members in Europe. It was also evident in the holding of two competing ceremonies in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon: one in Sidon, initiated by the Fatah Central Committee that is supported by movement institutions and 'Abbas, and another in the 'Ain Al-Hilweh refugee camp, sponsored by the "Reform Stream," led by General Mahmoud 'Abd Al-Hamid 'Issa, (aka Al-Lino), who is close to Dahlan. At the latter ceremony Al-Lino attacked 'Abbas and declared that the Fatah Seventh Conference had no legitimacy.[41]

'Abbas, Dahlan Associates Trade Accusations In Palestinian Media

As stated, the growing tension between Dahlan and 'Abbas, and Dahlan's increasingly bold political statements, also found expression in a harsh article by former PA official Muhammad Rashid, a Dahlan associate. Rashid rejected 'Abbas's attempts to orchestrate his exit from the political arena in complete detachment from Fatah and its members. This article sparked a response from the editor-in-chief of the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mahmoud Abu Al-Hija, who penned a virulent article attacking Rashid. Both articles coincided with an escalation in the tension between the 'Abbas and Dahlan camps, and conspicuously underscored the personal rivalry between the two figures. Alongside them, additional articles were published in the Palestinian media reflecting the schism: articles in the pro-Dahlan media condemning 'Abbas's activity, and articles in the official PA media condemning Dahlan and his actions.[42]   

Dahlan Associate: 'Abbas Is a Political Corpse Awaiting Burial; The People Will Oppose A Leader Imposed From Without, The Way 'Abbas Was

Writing under the title "'Abbas Is a Political Corpse Awaiting Burial," Rashid wrote: "Nobody knows [exactly] when the curtain will officially come down on the Mahmoud 'Abbas era, but everyone knows and acknowledges that 'Abbas is no longer anything but a political corpse awaiting the formal burial ceremony. [This,] after a decade or more of corruption, tyranny, and loss of political direction, which can also affect the period following 'Abbas, due to the weakness and feebleness of the Palestinian national institutions, and especially in light of the crumbling of Fatah unity and the emergence of "militaristic" islands in its ranks in the West Bank, which are preparing for the post-'Abbas period.

"There is a common misconception that whoever 'emerges the winner' in Ramallah can take control of Fatah, and whoever manages to take control of Fatah can 'emerge the victor' in the [contest for the] leadership of the Palestinian people. This conception motivates ambitious commanders in the militias and the security apparatuses to strengthen and arm themselves, regardless of the depth of the crisis and disagreement [this causes] among the Palestinian public, for the disagreements are no longer confined to Fatah and Hamas, but have spread to all Palestinian circles inside and outside the homeland...

"All these ambitious [figures] are secretly confronting 'Abbas, while openly trying to curry favor with him, in a hypocritical manner. Just as the secret confrontation takes many forms, the hypocrisy, too, finds various expressions: some, [pursuing] various hidden agendas, describe 'Abbas as the last of the titans; others invent road accidents to avoid accompanying 'Abbas to the funeral of [former Israeli president] Shimon Peres; still others openly opposed President ['Abbas] representing [the PA] at this funeral in accordance with the [accepted] protocol, and many are abandoning the [sinking] ship to avoid being associated with the disgrace of the [current] period.

"'Abbas himself feels very bitter towards these ambitious people, but he knows time is not working for him but rather against him and is [in fact] almost suffocating him and his sons. He fears that he will not have enough time to arrange a 'quiet death' [for himself] before it's too late,  and that's why he is wasting time trying to avoid confronting some of these ambitious people, or all of them, [by] using this time to select the one among them who represents the safest option from his perspective. However, he has not yet found the one 'truly reliable' [candidate], and perhaps he never will...

"All this hypocrisy is taking place in the Muqata'a and its vicinity, or in any case within the municipal boundaries of Ramallah, far from the pulse of the people in Palestine and outside it, and moreover, far from the members of the Fatah movement. This is because 'Abbas and his ambitious allies want to secretly agree on a 'magic formula' that will be later imposed upon some shadowy Fatah conference, which will be prepared according to the requirements of [this] secret formula, if they manage to find it. Then the Palestinian National Council will quickly be convened so that its members can imbibe the drug prepared for them...

"The tension among the people and [in the ranks of] Fatah is mounting, and so is the people's inclination to take to the streets. Hence, the proponents of the 'Muqata'a + aspirants  + municipal boundaries of Ramallah' formula may find themselves in a narrow channel trapped between a series of popular positions and demands that cannot be ignored or circumvented. Perhaps they will not find the time and resources to even understand these demands and positions, but any foolish assumption [on their part], that the people will be willing to repeat the same experience [i.e., accept an unelected leader] will be nothing but political madness...

"What is certain is that the 'Abbas era is over, except for the burial ceremony, and that the people will certainly not [agree] to repeat the experience of accepting a leader imposed by the will of outside [forces], as 'Abbas was imposed in 2003. The people will not capitulate and will not be frightened by the rattling of the militias' weapons, which are stored in the cities, villages and refugee camps of the West Bank, for no weapons can [defeat] a people that is willing to take up stones in defense of its honor and its freedom to select a worthy general leadership for Palestine. This selection will take place only by means of a fair and transparent [casting of] ballots. The Palestinians have already [held elections] in the past, [once] under occupation and again under the PA, and nothing will keep them from doing so in the future, even if [threatened] by the guns of the occupier or guns serving the occupier, or both."[43]

Editor Of PA Daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida: Rashid Is A Worthless Person Who Has Betrayed The Palestinian Cause

In response to Rashid's article, the chief editor of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mahmoud Abu Al-Hija, published an article of his own in which he virulently attacked Rashid's character, his activity in the Palestinian arena and his statements against 'Abbas. He wrote: "There is nothing more despicable than a thief talking of honesty and integrity, [a man] who once lived in abject poverty and grew rich on broker fees and by stealing public funds.[44] There is nothing more despicable than a declared collaborator talking about the Palestinian national cause after he betrayed this cause and its loyalists... This [Palestinian] cause took him to its bosom after he fled penniless from his homeland,[45] whose oppressive and violent regime he purported to fight. This thieving collaborator was not a Palestinian and has never become one [in the sense of embracing] the Palestinian identity - [the Palestinian] struggle, culture and humanity. [In fact], he has [never been] an Arab of any kind or even a Turkmen... He still identifies himself as a Kurd - while the Kurds renounce him, and, we suspect, [so do] the Turkmens.

"This is a man who used documents [provided by] the occupation and its institutions against the PA, when he sued [the PA] over the Jericho Casino, which he founded and [then] used its gambling tables as a cover for spying for occupation circles. Later he became a middleman serving these [occupation] circles wherever he went, after he fled from the Palestinian court system that still regards him as a fugitive from justice [and wishes to prosecute him] for the sake of public justice.

"We shall not mention his reputation as a businessman in order to avoid abusing the word [businessman], but we can refer to him as a man lacking any qualifications who purports to have an opinion on public affairs. [He is the kind of person] the Prophet warned about... This worthless man recently started spewing illogical claims regarding public issues and the national cause... The more strident his statements, the more they turn out to be vocal expressions of failure and, even more than that, of resentment and suppressed hatred. This is because they constantly parrot claims taken from Israel's frantic incitement campaign against President Abu Mazen. [These claims are stated] baldly, in the manner of a slave obeying his master...

"President Abu Mazen's era [represents] the age of the national plan, [a plan] which, under his leadership, began to march steadily towards its triumphant completion and [the establishment of a Palestinian] state. Palestine will never experience anything apart from the era of this [national] cause, for which its people are struggling and working... whether on the path of freedom or via the ballot box, but always with full confidence in their national identity, based on their own free will and their independent decisions..."[46]

 

*B. Shanee is a research fellow at MEMRI.  

 

Endnotes:

 

[1] For more on the Arab initiative for internal reconciliation in Fatah and the resulting tension between the PA and Arab countries, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 1270, Tension Between Mahmoud 'Abbas, Arab Quartet Over Initiative For Internal Reconciliation In Fatah, September 27, 2016.

[2] For more on Barghouti's candidacy and political philosophy, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6376, Marwan Barghouti: End Security Coordination With The Occupation, Strive For Comprehensive Intifada, April 6, 2016.

[3] Dahlan conducted interviews with the Islamic Jihad magazine Al-Istiqlal on October 20, 2016; on the Egyptian DREAM TV and  BBC Arabic on October 23; and with the Palestinian news agency Ma'an on October 30, 2016. Dahlan's last interview was conducted with the Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' on November 13, 2016. For Dahlan's interview with Ma'an, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6689, "Muhammad Dahlan: I Don't See Myself As A Presidential Candidate - I Support Marwan Barghouti ," November 23, 2016.

[4] Al-Risala (Gaza), October 16, 2016.

[5] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), October 12, 2016; Al-Quds (East Jerusalem), October 12, 2016; Karamapress.com, October 17, 2016; Al-Ahram (Egypt), October 18, 2015; Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), October 19, 2016; Ncmes.org, October 18, 2016; Fateh-voice.net, October 15, 2016.

[6] Maannews.net, November 5, 2016. It should be mentioned that alongside these conferences, there were reports that Egypt was considering opening the Rafah crossing at a frequency of 6-8 days per month. Qudsn.ps, October 31, 2016.

[7] Paltoday.ps, November 7, 2016; Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 9, 2016.

[8] The crossing was opened on October 15-16 and October 19-23 (Al-Yawm Al-Sabi', Egypt, October 16, 24, 2016); on November 6 and November 14-18 (Al-Yawm Al-Sabi', Egypt, November 6, 2016; palsafar.ps, November 17, 2016); and on November 22, 2016 for the passage of Palestinian journalists into Egypt (palsafar.ps, November 22, 2016).

[9] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 13, 2016, October 27, 2016; Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), November 8, 2016.

[10] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1270, Tension Between Mahmoud 'Abbas, Arab Quartet Over Initiative For Internal Reconciliation In Fatah, September 27, 2016; Al-Ayyam (PA), September 25, 2016; Filastin (Gaza), September 21, 2016; Facebook.com/mohammad.dahlan2, September 21, 2016.

[11] Maannews.net, October 30, 2016.

[12] Karamapress.com, November 7, 2016.

[13] Fpnp.net, November 12, 2016; Inlightpress.com, November 13, 2016; Amad.ps, November 13, 2016.

[14] Bbc.com/Arabic, October 23, 2016.

[15] Medium.com/arabi-21, November 6, 2016; Al-Hayat (London), October 30, 2016.

[16] Alwatanvoice.com, October 15, 2016. For PA's response to Arab Quartet initiative, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 1270, Tension Between Mahmoud ''Abbas, Arab Quartet Over Initiative For Internal Reconciliation In Fatah, September 27, 2016.

[17] Almesryoon.com, October 29, 2016; Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), October 25, 2016.

[18] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), November 9, 2016.

[19] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1270, Tension Between Mahmoud 'Abbas, Arab Quartet Over Initiative For Internal Reconciliation In Fatah, September 27, 2016; Al-Ayyam (PA), September 25, 2016; Filastin (Gaza), September 21, 2016; Facebook.com/mohammad.dahlan2, September 21, 2016.

[20] Alkhaleejelarabi.com, November 22, 2016.

[21] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), November 23, 2016.

[22] Alaqsavoice.ps, November 26, 2016.

[23] Al-Ayyam (PA), November 22, 2016.

[24] Maannews.net, November 2, 2016.

[25] Fateh-voice.net, October 25, 2016; Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), November 13, 2016; Maannews.net, October 30, 2016.

[26] Wafa.ps, November 7, 2016; Al-Ghad (Jordan), November 15, 2016.

[27] See, for example, Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 6, 2016;  Al-Watan (Egypt), November 2, 2016; Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), November 7, 2016;  Al-Rai (Jordan), November 21, 2016; Al-Dustour (Jordan), November 21, 2016.

[28] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), October 31, 2016.

[30] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), October 26, 2016. For more on the armed clashes between Fatah factions contending for local control of Nablus see: MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1266,  Recent Violence In Nablus Reveals Rifts In Fatah, Triggers Calls For Tackling Fundamental Problems In Palestinian Society, August 31, 2016.  

[31] Maannews.net October 24, 2016; Samanews.com October 22, 2016.

[32] Maanews.net October 22, 2016.

[33] Maannews.net October 23, 2016.

[34] Samanews.com October 22, 2016.

[35] Maannews.net October 25, 2016.

[36] Al-Risala (Gaza), November 3, 2016; Fateh-voice.net November 4, 2016.

[37] Amad.ps, November 4, 2016.

[38] Al-Risala (Gaza), November 7, 2016.

[39]   Wafa.ps, November 10, 2016.

[40] Facebook.com/Mohammad.dahlan, November 12, 2016.

[41] Assafir.com, November 14, 2016.

[42] See e.g., amad.ps, November 3, 2016; maannews.net, November 22, 2016; fatah-voice.net, November 27, 2016; Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), October 23 2016.

[43] Inlightpress.com, October 10, 2016.

[44] In light of his full control of the Palestinian treasury under Arafat, and in view of the  corruption scandals surrounding his handling of Palestinian funds, Rashid is considered a thief by the Palestinian public who enriched himself and become a multimillionaire by embezzling Palestinian public funds.

[45] Before joining the PLO, Rashid was a PKK activist in Iraq.

[46] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), October 13, 2016.