The dismissed leader of the Palestinian Fatah movement and adviser to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Dahlan, said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman would remain in power in the Saudi kingdom for the next 50 years.
Dahlan’s statement came in a televised interview on al-Arabiya al-Hadath TV when he remarked, “rumours circulated by the Qatari and Turkish media to sabotage Egypt and Saudi Arabia.” He asserted: “Brace yourselves … Bin Salman will remain in power for the next 50 years unless we witness a divine intervention.”
Dahlan’s interview was broadcast while a wave of sharp criticism was directed toward the Saudi Crown Prince over the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October and amid intelligence reports pointing out that Mohammad Bin Salman himself personally issued the assassination order.
Dahlan also denied being physically assaulted by an unknown gang in Dubai, in conjunction with the visit of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman more than a week ago.
He expressed his indifference to the news circulated about him while conveying his sense of “gratitude to media outlets which keep mentioning my name. I am not affected by rumours, and I am not intimidated, but rather I am taking advantage of these rumours. It is a skill that I learned from the late leader Yasser Arafat.”
The Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, known for being close to the Justice and Development Party, quoted Saudi and Palestinian sources saying that bin Salman and bin Zayed asked Dahlan to take responsibility for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and pretend to be the one who planned and ordered the assassination, in order to protect Mohammad bin Salman. However, Dahlan refused to get involved.
The same sources added that the meeting held between Dahlan, Bin Salman and bin Zayed took place on a private yacht in Dubai and that the assault that Dahlan was subjected to took place after that meeting.
Dahlan, who is currently based in the UAE, was sacked from the Fatah movement in mid-2011 due to accusations of “damaging the national security of Palestine, making excessive profit and conspiring.”