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Dahlan works Palestinian street to prepare comeback

Exiled Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan prepares for the day when negotiations with the Israelis fail, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will be forced to vacate his seat and step down.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) gestures as Fatah strongman and lawmaker Mohammed Dahlan looks on (R) after meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah December 18, 2006. Abbas told Blair on Monday he would push on with plans for early elections despite bitter opposition from the Hamas government. Blair said it was critical that the international community supported the moderate Abbas in the coming weeks. REUTERS/Eliana A
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The feud between Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and Mohammed Dahlan is hitting the Palestinian street. Dahlan, a former Fatah member and Abu Mazen’s bitter political rival, has begun creating bases of power and support in the West Bank, which he plans to use when the day of reckoning comes. According to sources close to him, the day when Dahlan attempts to regain his position as a central figure in the Palestinian political system is very close. 

Dahlan was head of preventive security in the Gaza Strip and later minister of the interior and national security adviser to the Abu Mazen government. His status in the PA declined after Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007, and Fatah supporters were expelled in disgrace. Dahlan, who was then considered the most powerful man in the Gaza Strip, claims that Abu Mazen blamed Fatah's agonizing defeat on him so that he could avoid taking any responsibility for it.  

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