Photo Credit: YouTube screencapture
Mohammed Dahlan

A secret Cairo document revealed Monday by the Arabic-language Ma’an news outlet contains the text of a tentative agreement between Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist group and the ruling Fatah faction of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria, placing Mohammed Dahlan as Prime Minister of Gaza.

Dahlan, who once served as Fatah head of Intelligence for Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, has – since the 2007 ouster of Fatah from Gaza – been considered one of the most bitter, and hated, rivals of Abbas.

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Now, in accordance with the agreement contained in the document, a national unity government headed by Dahlan is to be formed, with all of the factions in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), including Hamas and Fatah, invited to join, according to a report published by the Hebrew-language Arab Sensor website. The current head of Hamas, newly-elected Yahya Sinwar, is to serve as Gaza interior minister.

“This government is not a substitute for the Palestinian Authority but is being established to unify the West Bank and Gaza, and to continue [to act] to end the rift between Gaza and Ramallah, and to reconcile internal Fatah divisions [between the factions of Abu Mazen and Dahlan],” the agreement states.

“It is also understood that any harm to the weapon of resistance and its political positions will be prevented (ie: Hamas, will continue its struggle against Israel, including the armed struggle.)

Another section in the document states that Gaza border crossings with Israel are to be managed by a security apparatus comprised of Dahan personnel who will report to the Hamas Interior Ministry (which answers to Hamas.)

Dahlan pledges to work with Egypt to gradually open the Rafah crossing on the border between Gaza and Egypt, until it is open full-time. In addition, the crossing is to be upgraded and will be used for both people and the transfer of goods. Dahlan also vowed to “work with friends and nations to build a seaport and an airport.”

The agreement also includes a full “sulha” (reconciliation) between the citizens of Gaza and who wielded the weapons that took from them their loved ones. Compensation grants are to awarded to all those who were injured and/or killed during the 2007 armed confrontation between Fatah and Hamas. Dahan is to be responsible for obtaining the funds required to pay the compensation.

All this having been said, however, at the end of the day, Dahlan associate Sufian Abu Zaida “hastened to deny the news of the agreement” according to the Arab Sensor report, claiming it was a “forgery” that did not reflect any outcome achieved in the Cairo talks.

Nevertheless, it is clear that regardless of whatever else has or has not taken place, one thing is certain: Mohammed Dahlan has returned to the political arena in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. Once that has taken place, anything else is possible.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.