Daily Israel Report

Dahlan: Hamas and Fatah Are Not So Far Apart

Senior Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan criticized Hamas, but said that Fatah and Hamas are not that far apart on the practical level.
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
First Publish: 12/11/2007, 9:24 AM

In an interview with the Kuwaiti news agency on Monday, senior Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan criticized Hamas, but said that Fatah and Hamas are not that far apart on the practical level.

Dahlan, a terrorist commander who was the Fatah warlord in charge of Gaza, claimed that the Hamas leadership is starting to recognize its mistake in launching a coup against Fatah in Gaza last June. For its part, Dahlan said, Fatah is hoping that Hamas will agree to reverse the political consequences of its takeover.

"There is no way to reestablish Palestinian unity other than a dialogue based on Hamas reversing its armed coup and providing guarantees that it won't be repeated," Dahlan told the Kuwaiti interviewer.

According to Dahlan, Hamas refuses to recognize Fatah, the Oslo Accords or the Palestinian Authority. However, it was those elements that made it possible for Hamas to take power in January 2006, Dahlan noted.

"On the practical level, there are no great differences between the two sides," Dahlan said, "as most Palestinians are talking about a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of Palestinians [to pre-1967 Israel] - and Hamas supports this, as well."

Hamas is an offshoot of the international Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization
Fatah also has its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood.
that was founded in Egypt of the 1920s. Fatah also has its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, having evolved from a student organization affiliated with the Brotherhood and with its primary leader, Yasser Arafat, having been a Brotherhood member himself.

Regarding the ongoing insecurity throughout the Arab nations - such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, etc. - Dahlan claimed that it is primarily a result of "the Israeli occupation." According to the Fatah leader, the American government has also come to realize that there will not be any stability in the Middle East as long as the Arab-Israeli conflict persists.

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: Mashaal Agrees to Cede Control
Hamas politburo chief and arch-terrorist Khaled Mashaal has reportedly agreed to return control over Gaza's security and government offices to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority government of Mahmoud Abbas.

According to a report Tuesday in the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Mashaal was persuaded to cede his terrorist group's control over the region during a meeting with officials in Saudi Arabia on Monday. It was not clear how or when the change of command would be carried out.

A separate report on Tuesday in another London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat, said that senior Fatah terrorist Farouk Kadoumi requested that Syria host negotiations between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas's Mashaal is based in Damascus.