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What are Israel’s Liberman, Fatah’s Dahlan plotting?

For former Fatah senior member Mohammed Dahlan, a combination of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s land-swap plan with the integrity of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative could open up negotiations for an Israeli-Palestinian arrangement.
Mohammed Dahlan, a former Fatah security chief, gestures in his office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates October 18, 2016. Picture taken October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer  - RTX2QI8I
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US President Donald Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas finally spoke on the phone March 10. But anyone privy to this conversation would not have been surprised. In a cordial dialogue with little substance, Abbas called for a two-state solution effort on the 1967 lines, and Trump promised a peace effort in order to reach a regional deal and called on the Palestinian leader to halt incitement to violence. In the conversation, Abbas was invited to visit the White House. This undoubtedly is an incentive for the pragmatic Arab leaders to join the coalition against the Islamic State. Trump dispatched his envoy, Jason Greenblatt, on March 13 to both Jerusalem and Ramallah to explore positions of both sides on a regional framework for peace.

According to a senior PLO official close to the Palestinian president, Abbas is in a desperate mood. He feels betrayed by his traditional Arab partners at a time when he needs them most. His despair is focused especially on Egypt, which is clearly backing his archrival — Mohammed Dahlan, the former security chief under PLO leader Yasser Arafat. Dahlan, who has been ousted from the Fatah movement, has established in recent years a political and financial powerbase in the Gulf.

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