Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fatah Warlord, Dahlan returns

Former Fatah strongman Mohamed Dahlan, speaking at a London conference, stated that Hamas had made "a strategic and historic mistake" in their takeover of Gaza. He made bold claims concerning a political solution between Israel and the Palestinians referencing his comeback in the Palestinian political scene, "I am quite convinced that the solution I am hoping for will succeed by 70 percent."

As he himself pointed out ("I am a person detested by Hamas, to my honor,"), Dahlan was already a detested figure in the Islamic movement's camp prior to the Hamas takeover in Gaza and yet after Hamas took power, he was possibly hated even more by his own Fatah supporters for his poor showing during Hamas' military routing of Fatah forces in Gaza in mid June. With strong outside support, which he seems to have, Dahlan would be able to prevail over even these seemingly impossible odds.

Meanwhile Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has for the first time made a committed statement to return to the negotiating table with Hamas by promising to re-activate a power sharing deal with his political rivals if the latter cede power in Gaza.

He went on to say,
"the Mecca agreement... is still a valid way out of the tense situation in the Palestinian territories, on condition that the situation in Gaza returns to what it was."

Abbas furthermore called for the Saudi backed Arab Peace Initiative to be considered part of the Mecca Agreement between Hamas and Fatah.
Egypt for its part has already condemned to failure the US proposed November Peace Talks.

Dahlan backed such predictions,

"I find that the prevailing atmosphere is not conducive to a breakthrough at this conference... I sincerely hope I'm mistaken because the opportunity is a historic one."