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The Return of Mohammed Dahlan

The UAE and Egypt are pushing for a reconciliation between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan, who would return to Fatah.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) talks to senior Fatah official Mohammad Dahlan after his meeting with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak (not pictured) in Cairo February 10 2007.   REUTERS/Tara Todras-Whitehill (EGYPT) - RTR1M950

The possibility of the return of former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan to Palestine appears to have improved in recent months. Fatah sources told Al-Monitor that Palestinian Authority President and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has softened his stance toward the former member of Fatah's Central Committee.

The sources, however, cautioned against early celebrations by Dahlan and his supporters, noting that Abbas will not automatically allow Dahlan to assume his former post. Fatah suspended Dahlan from the Central Committee in January 2010, severing all ties with him. He will only be allowed to return (and be guaranteed protection) as an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from Gaza. He will still have to respond to official charges of corruption and murder in the West Bank before his status in Fatah is considered, the source told Al-Monitor. No time frame has been agreed upon, but it is related to ensuring that all details are accepted by both sides.

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