Mohammed Dahlan
Mohammed Dahlan Michal Fattal/Flash 90

Thousands of protesters supporting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's rival Mohammed Dahlan demonstrated in front of Gaza City's parliament building on Thursday, carrying posters accusing Abbas of corruption - that included images of Abbas being hung.

The protest calling Abbas a "traitor" came after reportedly 100 PA security force members supportive of Dahlan, formerly a senior security chief for Fatah in Gaza who lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), were fired by the PA.

It also came as a PA trial against Dahlan opened in Ramallah for charges of corruption, after he was sentenced in absentia in May to two years in jail for defamation, after he said PA security forces were cooperating to defend Israelis living in Judea and Samaria.

Yedioth Aharonoth, citing Palestinian Arab media, noted that Hamas approved the anti-Abbas rally, in a sign of continuing animosity between the two groups despite their April unity deal.

"The time has come to put an end to the injustice facing the Gaza Strip and our brothers whose salaries have been cut," Palestinian Arab lawmaker and Dahlan supporter Majd Abu Shamaleh said at the rally, reported the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency.

Meanwhile Adnan Damiri, a spokesperson for Abbas's PA security forces, was cited saying the Dahlan supporters were fired because they "violated the rules of military discipline," as he claimed.

Dahlan was once tasked with the internal security portfolio of the PA, heading its forces in Gaza until Hamas violently kicked Fatah out of the region in 2007, with Hamas accusing him of planning a coup with the US against them that led to their coup.

He was ousted from Fatah in 2011 as Abbas claimed he poisoned former PA chairperson and terror leader Yasser Arafat. Dahlan fled to Dubai; his home in Ramallah was later raided by PA security forces.

In March Abbas accused Dahlan of collaborating with Israel to assassinate a senior Hamas terrorist in 2002. Dahlan then hit back, branding Abbas a “catastrophe” in an interview with an Egyptian television network.

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