Fat'h Says Dahlan Involved in Poisoning Arafat
Published today 11:49 BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) --
Fat'h (incorrectly written in the media as "Fatah") has accused
ousted party strongman Muhammad Dahlan of "having a hand" in poisoning
late President Yasser Arafat, Arabic-language media reported Saturday.
Arafat died in a Paris hospital in November 2004. The exact cause of
his death remains a mystery, but popular belief among Palestinians holds
that he was poisoned.
According to Al-Jazeera's Arabic-language
news site, Fat'h's commission of inquiry also found that Dahlan was
linked to assassination attempts on other Palestinian leaders and that
he had planned a coup in the West Bank.
Senior Fat'h leaders
Azzam Al-Ahmad, At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim, Othman Abu Gharbiyya and Nabil
Shaath submitted the findings of the inquiry, according to the news
Palestinian ambassadors were urged to avoid dealing with
Dahlan and Interpol was asked to help arrest the former strongman, the
Palestinian Authority sources told the news site
that the West Bank government had come under international and regional
pressure not to pursue Dahlan.
Dahlan was expelled from Fat'h's
governing body in June. The party rejected an appeal against the
decision by Dahlan, who once headed the PA's feared preventative
Shortly after Dahlan's appeal failed, PA forces
raided his Ramallah home and detained several of his bodyguards.
Dahlan was voted out of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, the party's
governing body, on June 12, for suspected "criminal acts" that were not
Reports leaked earlier this year said the former Fat'h
strongman in Gaza was suspected of building a private armed militia in
the West Bank.
Dahlan denied the allegations, responding with an
online video message.
"A coup against whom? Do we have an
authority in Ramallah to coup against? We are under occupation, one
female soldier rules over the West Bank; the Civil Administration
governs the West Bank," he said in June.
Dahlan was formerly a
leading Fat'h figure known for his fierce opposition to the Hamas
movement. He led a merciless crackdown on the group in the 1990s,
rounding up thousands of Islamists who refused to recognize the
legitimacy of the newly-created Palestinian Authority.
fell from grace in June 2007 after the humiliating rout of his forces by
Hamas fighters during days of fierce street battles in Gaza, when Hamas
expelled Fatah forces from the territory.
Two years later, he
returned to the political stage when he was elected to the Fat'h central
committee in August 2009.
But in December 2010, he was suspended
from the committee which said it had set up a commission of inquiry to
examine his finances and claims he tried to set up a personal militia.
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