Muhammad Dahlan and the Succession Battle for the PA Chairmanship

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Yoni Ben Menachem - In recent weeks, Dubai-based Muhammad Dahlan has become much more actively involved in Gaza. He is attempting to exploit the difficult situation there after the 2014 Gaza war and views himself as the potential successor of his bitter enemy, Mahmoud Abbas, as chairman of the Palestinian Authority. Dahlan is also involved in providing financial aid to needy residents in Gaza. He recently sent his wife, Dr. Jalila Dahlan, to Gaza where, with Hamas' consent, she has been intensely involved in providing funds to the needy. Egypt and Hamas believe that Abbas will soon end his role as chairman of the PA, and Abbas' troubles in the Palestinian domestic arena have afforded Dahlan a foothold. Egypt is inclined to support Dahlan because of the great sympathy he enjoys among Gaza residents. In the past, during Arafat's rule, Dahlan was head of Gaza's Preventive Intelligence force. Dahlan has had close ties with Mohammed Deif, the "supreme commander" of Hamas' military wing, since the 1980s when the two shared the same cell in an Israeli prison.

2015-01-28 00:00:00

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