UAE-backed Dahlan in Cairo to discuss ‘Gaza developments’

Mohammed Dahlan is expected to meet with senior officials, raising concerns that the Palestinian leader is engaging in a Gaza power grab.

Exiled former Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan arrived in Cairo on Tuesday from Abu Dhabi to discuss the latest Gaza developments with Egyptian counterparts.

The UAE backed Palestinian leader, who is also the security adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, arrived on board a private jet from Abu Dhabi.

During his visit to Egypt, Dahlan is expected to meet with senior officials, personalities and some Palestinians to discuss the latest developments in the Gaza Strip – a move which is raising concerns that he is engaging in a Gaza power grab.

The trip comes after a strategic alliance was formed with Dahlan and rival group Hamas to help facilitate negotiations between Gaza and Cairo last month. After the alliance was formed, Egypt began allowing gas into the besieged enclave.

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During an Eid al-Fitr sermon in Gaza’s Saraya Square late June, deputy head of Hamas, Khalil al-Hayya announced that a deal has been struck with Cairo to alleviate the suffering of the besieged costal enclave.

“We have found a large open gate and a warm welcome from our Egyptian brothers… We are confident that Egypt’s promise not to keep Gaza under siege will be implemented and that it will extend its hands to break it, amid the Palestinian Authority’s attempts to tighten the chokehold on Gaza,” al-Hayya said.

It has become evident that Dahlan is a favourite for negotiations on behalf of Gaza, as opposed to Hamas.

After the Oslo Accords, Dahlan was appointed as the head of the preventative security force in Gaza between 1994 and 2002. During that time, he had launched a crackdown on Gaza and was notorious for his torture of Hamas supporters.

Gaza was often nicknamed “Dahlanistan” because of the power Dahlan had acquired in the city.