An Egyptian journalist specialising in the Palestine issue has claimed that key Palestinian and Egyptian journalists in Cairo boycotted a press conference held by Fatah's Mohammed Dahlan on 29 December. Ibrahim El-Darawy said that a number of journalists refused to attend the event at which Dahlan intended to respond to the stance against him taken by Fatah's Central Committee; the former Fatah minister then said that he would return to Ramallah.
According to Mr. El-Darawy there was an arrangement for a meeting between Dahlan and a number of Palestinian journalists in Gaza as well as the correspondents of the Gulf, German and Chinese news agencies. However, all of the journalists refused to meet Dahlan because they consider him to be "yesterday's man". The statements made by Dahlan about his return to Ramallah received no interest from Egyptian media outlets and the Middle East News Agency.
"Gone is the time when Dahlan could hold press conferences in Cairo and tour big Egyptian media organisations," said Mr. El-Darawy. Dahlan's fall from media grace in Egypt follows the escalation of the differences between him and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas; obviously, Cairo favours Abbas.
Mohammed Dahlan led a US-Israeli backed coup against the elected government in Gaza in 2007, which was put down swiftly by the Hamas authorities. He fled to the West Bank but has failed to re-establish himself as a key member of the Ramallah Palestinian Authority.