Photo Credit: Michal Fattal/Flash90
Muhammad Dahlan

As the situation on the ground in the Gaza Strip is getting progressively worse, especially considering the threat of reducing the current average 4-hour daily supply of electricity from Israel to 3 hours – by fiat of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – the Hamas government appears to have decided to turn to the dark side.

According to IRNA, a senior Hamas official, Taher Al-Nono, on Monday told satellite TV Channel Al Mayadeen in a phone conversation that Hamas is seeking to enhance its cordial relations its allies in Iran and Lebanon, as well as with Qatar and Turkey.

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Meanwhile, according to Ma’an, Hamas politburo deputy chairman in Gaza Khalil al-Hayya on Sunday called for a “national rescue front” against the Palestinian Authority, and confirmed Hamas is now collaborating with the dismissed Fatah leader in the strip Muhammad Dahlan.

Dahlan was head of the Preventive Security in Gaza after the signing of the Oslo Accords. He built up a force of 20,000 men, making him one of the most powerful local Arab leaders, under the protection of the CIA and Israeli Intelligence. He was known for torturing Hamas detainees throughout the 1990s, in what was renamed “Dahlanistan” at the time. In 1997 it was revealed that Dahlan was diverting 40% of the taxes levied at the Karni Crossing (an estimated $350,000 a month) to his personal bank account.

In June 2011 Dahlan was expelled from Fatah because of repeated claims by Abbas that he had murdered Yasser Arafat. In December 2014, he failed to appear at his trial in Ramallah and was tried in absentia.

Al-Hayya said Hamas had agreed to cooperate with Abbas’ rival Dahlan “to work together on social interests after Abbas crippled those interests.” He slammed the PA for its decision to reduce its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip. “We won’t stand idly by as these practices lead to deprivation of medicine,” al-Hayya said in a statement. “This policy unites us all in Gaza and consolidates our belief that our plight is being hijacked by Mahmoud Abbas.”

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