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Dahlan calls efforts to hold Fatah conference a 'coup'

Supporters of the Fatah movement stage a demonstration in support of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on 4 October 2016. [Anadolu Agency/Issam Rimawi]
Supporters of the Fatah movement stage a demonstration in support of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on 4 October 2016. [Anadolu Agency/Issam Rimawi]

Former Fatah official Mohamed Dahlan has described the efforts being made by the movement and its leader Mahmoud Abbas to hold its seventh conference as a "real coup," Al-Resalah newspaper has reported.

"Holding the conference based on the measurements drawn-up by President Mahmoud Abbas is a coup against Fatah," Dahlan said in an interview with Maan TV. "It is an attempt to get rid of Fatah's plurality and to hold the organisation with a Stalinist iron fist."

Dahlan warned Abbas not to hold the conference according to his own calculations, and threatened to take counter-measures, although he gave no details. "We will not rush," he said. "We will wait; it's always the fool who starts a war."

Meanwhile, the notorious former "Fatah strongman" said that Abbas does not want to exclude him alone, but wants to exclude any "free voice" inside Fatah. He suggested that support from Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not help him and that the PA president "should remember Yasser Arafat's experience." This has been interpreted as a clear threat to Abbas's life, as Dahlan is blamed by many for the former PA leader's death.

According to Dahlan, the Fatah leadership is "weak" and this was done "intentionally" because it was once the core of the Palestinian resistance and the enemy want to "weaken it in order to undermine all the Palestinian resistance movements." He stressed that Fatah will return to and remain the core of the Palestinian resistance.

Regarding the cuts to the PA salaries of Dahlan supporters, he said that pressure will be maintained in order to obtain people's rights, and those of their children. When asked about the expulsion of his supporters from Fatah, Dahlan was adamant that membership is an honour. "No one can revoke this honour," he insisted. "We will fight as if we are the same body."

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