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Is Fatah reconciliation underway ahead of local elections?

Along with a number of Arab countries, Egypt has been making recent efforts to achieve reconciliation between President Mahmoud Abbas and dismissed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan in conjunction with the Palestinian preparations for local elections.
Palestinian senior Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan gestures near a portrait of later Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during an interview at his office in Abu Dhabi on September 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / STR / AFP / STR        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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News about Fatah reconciliation efforts began spreading in the past few days, as Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida cited Aug. 26 a prominent Egyptian source, who requested anonymity, as saying there were unremitting Egyptian efforts with Arab support to achieve reconciliation between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan and establish unity within Fatah.

Internal division has been plaguing Fatah ever since its top leadership, the Central Committee, headed by Abbas, decided back in May 2011 to dismiss Dahlan — who served as national security adviser to the Palestinian Authority (PA) — and referred his case to the Palestinian attorney general on charges of financial corruption and being involved in murder cases. Dahlan was accused by Abbas of participating in the assassination of Hamas military leader Salah Shehadeh, who was killed by Israel in Gaza in 2002. He was also accused of being involved in the assassination of Fatah leaders back in 1993 in Gaza, namely Mohammed Abu Shaaban and Asaad al-Saftawi.

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