Mohammed Dahlan the former leader of Fatah in Gaza who was accused by the Mahmoud Abbas regime of killing Yasser Arafat, who lives in exile in Abu Dhabi, where he is known as “the UAE’s favorite Palestinian,” and is also Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s favorite too, visited Israel as part of a UAE delegation last June. According to a Sunday report in al-Hayat, Dahlan came on a UAE plane that was carrying medical equipment intended for the Palestinian Authority, to fight the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Nurit Canetti on Army Radio Sunday that part of the UAE’s expectations from the peace deal with Israel is to receive technology it had been refused in the past.
According to Amb. Shapiro, the UAE was deeply offended by the Mossad’s assassination in UAE territory of Mahmoud Abdel Rauf al-Mabhouh, the chief of logistics and weapons procurement for Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and as part of the reconciliation efforts Israel agreed to deliver to the Emirates the military technology it so desired.
Dahlan’s involvement suggests the UAE is very serious about its expectations that diplomatic relations with Israel must be accompanied by the application of the two-state solution – most likely with their man, Dahlan at the helm. It can be argued that no living Arab is better qualified to head an independent state, since no one is Dahlan’s equal in effectiveness and ruthlessness.
Dahlan was head of the PA’s Preventive Security Force 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 Arab chieftains in the territories, dealing directly with the CIA and Israeli intelligence. He lost his power in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas electoral victory that ended in the decimation of the PLO in Gaza.
Al-Hayat suggested that the reason the Palestinian Authority refused the UAE medical provisions had to do with the fact that Dahlan was on board the cargo plane. In December 2014, Dahlan was tried on corruption charges in Ramallah, but he failed to appear for the trial, and was convicted in absentia.
If Amb. Shapiro is to be trusted, PM Netanyahu has by now twice defied a longstanding fundamental strategy that insists the IDF must possess military equipment and technology that is superior to all the other powers in the region. Delivering sensitive technology to the UAE follows Netanyahu’s approval of Germany selling submarines to the Egyptian military which are equal to Israel’s top-of-the-line submarines.