Arab States compromise with Israel on ousting Abbas, weakening Hamas

Alwaght- Israeli regime and some Arab states, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan, are planning to oust Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and replace him with the former leader of the Movement, Mohammed Dahlan.

The United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan are planning for a post-Mahmoud Abbas era that would leave his Fatah archrival Mohammed Dahlan in control of the Palestinian presidency, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority,” Middle East Eye news website cited unidentified Palestinian and Jordanian sources as saying.

 The UAE has already held talks with Israeli regime about the initiative to reinstall Dahlan, and the three parties will inform Saudi Arabia once they reach an agreement on the final version of their plan, according to the report.

Accused of corruption and defamation, Dahlan was exiled from Gaza and the West Bank. He has close ties to the UAE monarchy.

Dahlan is a former Fatah leader who is currently exiled from Gaza and the West Bank

“The parties believe that Mahmoud Abbas has expired politically and that they should endeavor to stop any surprises by Abbas during the period when Fatah will remain under his leadership until the elections are held,” the online news portal quoted a senior Palestinian source as saying.

“It is within this framework that they stress ‘on the necessity of pushing Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) to appoint a deputy’,” the source added.

“Dahlan believes that two options are available for accomplishing this: either Abu Mazen resigns, and this is unlikely, or that Jordan would lead the reconciliation between Dahlan and Abbas under the banner of bolstering Fatah,” the source added.

The key objectives of the scheme for Abbas’ ouster include uniting Fatah, weakening the Hamas resistance movement, completing the so-called peace agreement with Israeli regime and seizing control of sovereign Palestinian institutions in the West Bank, the report said.

 The initiative was corroborated by a senior Jordanian source who revealed a visit by Dahlan to the Jordanian capital, Amman, on March 31, during which the Palestinian figure requested Jordanian intervention to reconcile him with Abbas.

One of the prime movers of the plan is Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, who made clear to Jordan that differences over Palestinian President Abbas affected bilateral relations.

At one point, the Emiratis demanded the arrest of Abbas as well as a ban on him entering Jordan or using Jordan to travel abroad.

“The Emiratis, particularly Mohammed Bin Zayed, absolutely reject Abbas on the personal level, to the extent that they told the Jordanians explicitly that the reason the UAE is negative about Jordan is due to the fact that Jordan did not take a stand against Abbas,” a senior Palestinian source told the website.

The three Arab countries have enumerated the steps needed to implement this plan and have allotted roles for each actor to play.

“Dahlan believes that Hamas is weaker than Fatah in Gaza and that Fatah is weaker than Hamas in the West Bank and that Fatah could win if it were to be united, whereas Hamas is likely to win if Fatah remains disunited,” the senior Palestinian source said.

 Not keen to present himself as a candidate for the presidency “at this stage,” Dahlan is said by these sources to be seeking the post of parliamentary speaker, a position from which he believes he can control the presidency.

 “Dahlan believes that the leading positions can be divided into three: Fatah leader, Palestinian Authority president and PLO chairman. He does not object to Jordan nominating whoever they deem appropriate for these positions,” the source said.

 “After submitting his options and personal preferences, Dahlan says that the matter is subject to dialogue and discussion with the Jordanians and the Emirates and that it would be possible to deal with names proposed by Jordan.”

 Dahlan wants both parliamentary and presidential elections conducted in the name of “the state of Palestine” rather than under the banner of the Palestinian Legislative Council, which is dominated by Hamas, or the PA.

In his view, this arrangement would strengthen the PLO against the PA, and bypass the issue of the Palestinian Charter.

Dahlan believes this goal could be achieved in several ways:

  1. Dividing Hamas into a national faction inside Gaza and an international one linked to the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  2. Containing Hamas inside the PA; and by developing “soft pressure” on Hamas, such as an Emirati plan to install a desalination plant in Sinai which would serve Gaza while giving the Egyptians and its allies the option of cutting the supply.

 “Dahlan believes it would be possible to work with the Hamas leadership inside Gaza. He claims he was the one who persuaded the Egyptians to meet with the Hamas movement delegation within this context,” the source said. “The Egyptians told Hamas about their three conditions for reconciliation, namely that Hamas ceases all hostile conduct inside Gaza; that Hamas works for pacifying the situation inside Sinai; and that Hamas hands over to Egypt those who are wanted by it and happen to be inside Gaza. Dahlan insists that he was the one who added the last condition in particular so as to ‘pressure Hamas.”