Abbas rival says UAE will deliver vaccines to Gaza

Mohammed Dahlan announces the UAE is sending 20,000 doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine to Gaza.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammed Dahlan
Mohammed Dahlan
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ longtime rival, Mohammed Dahlan, announced on Thursday that the United Arab Emirates is sending 20,000 doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine to the Gaza Strip, reports The Associated Press.

Dahlan called the shipment a “generous grant” from the UAE “at a sensitive time where the pandemic is targeting all our beloved.”

An aide to Dahlan said the Sputnik V vaccines will be delivered to Gaza through Egypt on Sunday.

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

Abbas has accused Dahlan of, among other things, collaborating with Israel to eliminate a senior Hamas terrorist in 2002.

Dahlan was sentenced in absentia in 2016 to three years in prison for allegedly embezzling $16 million while serving as a cabinet minister.

He remains in the UAE, where he is advising the ruling family on Palestinian Arab affairs.

His announcement regarding the vaccine appears to be aimed in part at embarrassing Abbas ahead of the PA elections.

Dahlan has long been considered a legitimate threat to succeed Abbas as PA chairman. Due to this, Abbas has taken a series of steps to block Dahlan's possible return to a leadership position in Fatah. In one incident, Dahlan’s associates were not invited to the Fatah congress and Abbas’ associates were elected to senior positions.

More recently, the Fatah movement turned down a proposal by Dahlan to run on a joint list in the upcoming elections.