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Mohammed Dahlan, the United Arab Emirates, and Fatah’s Intergenerational Struggle

July 21 2016

Once the Palestinian Authority’s security chief for Gaza, and later Mahmoud Abbas’s national-security adviser, Mohammed Dahlan had a falling out with his boss in 2011. Since then, he has been living in exile, receiving protection and financial support from the United Arab Emirates. Abbas sees him as his major rival, and reportedly has become obsessed with preventing Dahlan’s rise to power, while Dahlan has recently assailed Abbas in the Arabic press. Khaled Abu Toameh argues that more than a personal squabble is at play:

The rivalry between Abbas and Dahlan is emblematic of the power struggle between the old guard and young guard in Fatah, the largest Palestinian faction that dominates the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

This is a power struggle that has been raging for the past three decades. Dahlan is a representative of the young guard, whose members are strongly opposed to the continued hegemony and monopoly of the old guard over the decision-making process. Dahlan and the young guard are mostly from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, grassroots leaders who have long been complaining that they have been marginalized by the veteran leaders of the Palestinians who came from Lebanon and Tunisia after the signing of the Oslo Accords and who continue to block the emergence of new and younger leaders.

This power struggle will not end with Abbas’s departure. The next Palestinian president will surely be one of Abbas’s current loyalists. This in itself will drive Dahlan and his ilk to continue railing against the old guard. . . .

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Politics & Current Affairs, United Arab Emirates

 

Hamas’s Dangerous Escalation in Gaza

June 22 2018

As Hamas has stepped up its attacks on communities near the Gaza Strip—using incendiary devices attached to kites and balloons—Israel has begun to retaliate more forcefully. In response, the terrorist group has begun firing rockets and mortars into Israel. Yoav Limor comments:

What made Wednesday’s rocket salvo different is that ‎unlike previous flare-ups on the border [since 2014], this time it ‎was Hamas operatives who fired at Israel, as opposed ‎to Islamic Jihad or the ‎rogue terrorist group in the coastal enclave. ‎Still, Hamas made sure the attack followed most of ‎the familiar “rules”—only [firing] at night and only at the ‎ communities in the vicinity of Gaza, and apparently while also ‎trying to minimize any casualties, to avoid further ‎escalation. ‎. . .

The first reason [for the shift in tactics] is Israel’s own change of policy ‎with regard to kite terrorism. It took Israel far ‎too long to define the incessant waves of incendiary ‎kites sent over the border as actionable acts of ‎terror, but once it did, the IDF began ‎systematically countering them, including firing ‎warning shots at terrorist kite cells and targeting ‎Hamas assets in Gaza in retaliation.‎

The second reason is Hamas’s own frustration and ‎distress in Gaza. Since the border-riot campaign was ‎launched on March 30, some 150 of its operatives ‎have been killed and the Israeli military has ‎carried out over 100 strikes on Hamas positions in ‎the coastal enclave, all while Hamas has nothing to ‎show for it. ‎In this situation, Hamas is searching for [some sort of victory] by declaring that “bombings will be ‎met with bombings,” as Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum ‎said Wednesday, in order to portray itself as defending Gaza from ‎Israel.‎ . . .

Hamas is banking on Israel opting against a military ‎campaign in Gaza at this time so as not to split its ‎focus from the [developments in Syria], but it is sorely ‎mistaken if it thinks Israel will simply contain ‎kite terrorism or shy away from action given the new ‎equation it has presented. ‎At some point, Israel’s patience will expire.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security