Bush pressures to restore Dahlan’s good standing

Bush pressures to restore Dahlan’s good standing

To the US, the role of Fatah”s leader Mohammad Dahlan has not ended yet. This was clearly manifested in the backstage of the American- Palestinian meetings, as the Bush administration clung to exerting pressures to restore the man”s esteem after he dissapated from the internal Palestinian political scene ever since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip on June 14.

“In the recent meeting between Bush and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazin) last Monday in New York, talk about Dahlan occupied a large portion of the discussions in which the American President focused on the necessity to take care of Gaza”s former main man despite the mistakes he committed and which led to this situation in the strip. A senior Palestinian source told Al Akhbar yesterday that Bush asked Abbas not to neglect Dahlan whom Hamas describes as being the man of America and Israel in Palestine. The source quoted Bush as telling Abu Mazin that Dahlan”s errors in Gaza should not make the authority and its allies overlook what this loyal man had offered in order to protect the authority and the Palestinian-Israeli peace project.

“The Palestinian source, who wished to remain anonymous, noted that “Bush asked Abbas about the reason behind this estrangement between [the President] and Dahlan. The Palestinian President responded by holding the Fatah leader and his group responsible for the events witnessed in the Gaza Strip last June, adding that they (Dahlan and his group) only thought about leadership without assuming responsibility for the repercussions, burdens, and the outcome of the errors.”

“The [Palestinian] official explained that Bush promised Abbas that “Dahlan and his men will return better than they were and they will restore Gaza under his [Abbas”s] control and will not leave Hamas to do whatever it desires in the Strip. Dahlan will wake up from his shock and will not have mercy on those who colluded with Hamas to carry out its coup in Gaza.” According to the same official, Bush did not conceal his outrage vis-à-vis what happened and said that “what has been spent is enough to establish Palestinian security apparatuses that are capable of building a complete state, but this money was not employed wisely.”

“The official continued that the Palestinian President responded by holding Israel responsible and noted that “Israel was the one that hindered the establishment of Palestinian security apparatuses by shelling their headquarters, arresting their officials, and preventing weapons from reaching them…”

“It seems that the excessive talk of the American President about Dahlan “provoked Abu Mazin”s displeasure” who looked – according to the Palestinian official – “very angry. He talked with a harsh tone about Dahlan and held him primarily responsible for what happened and what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.” However, Bush kept praising Dahlan and “excessively talked about what he has done to repress Hamas and Islamic Jihad at the outset of the authority”s term in the mid-nineties.”

“The Palestinian official pointed out that “Bush was concerned with Dahlan”s return to the Palestinian political scene and he seemed displeased with Abu Mazin”s behavior since he was the one who brought Hamas to the stage of legitimacy and then wanted to deprive it of [that legitimacy].” He added that “Abbas interfered to explain that had the world been patient with Hamas, the movement would have offered huge concessions which no one would have imagined”, and that “the unannounced truce between Hamas and Israel is the greatest benefit coming from Hamas”s participation in the elections…”