Mohammed Dahlan
Mohammed DahlanFlash 90

A Palestinian Authority (PA) court on Wednesday sentenced Mohammed Dahlan, the longtime political foe of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, to three years in prison for allegedly embezzling $16 million as a Cabinet minister, reports The Associated Press.

Dahlan, a former security chief in Gaza under Fatah, was ousted from the party in 2011 and fled to Dubai. His home in Ramallah was later raided by PA security forces.

Abbashasaccused Dahlan of, among other things, collaborating with Israel to assassinate a senior Hamas terrorist in 2002, and most recently of conspiring to assassinate former PA chairman Yasser Arafat.

Dahlan, in turn, has repeatedly verbally attacked Abbas from his new whereabouts in Dubai.

He was sentenced in absentia.

Since the rift, Abbas has taken a series of steps to block Dahlan's possible return to a leadership position in Fatah, most recently at the Fatah congress, to which Dahlan’s associates were not invited and in which Abbas’s associates were elected to senior positions.

Wednesday's ruling came after a constitutional court upheld Abbas' right to strip Dahlan and four of his allies of their parliamentary immunity, noted AP.