Report: Palestinian Strongman Mohammad Dahlan To Lead Gaza’s Foreign Affairs

Mohammed Dahlan

TEL AVIV — Egypt and Hamas have agreed that Hamas will continue managing the Gaza Strip’s internal affairs while former Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan, a leading political opponent of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, will help run foreign affairs, according to an Islamic Jihad official who gave an interview to a Lebanese television station.

The official, Abou Imad Alrifayi, said in an interview with the Almayadeen station that the agreement stipulates that all internal affairs will remain under the responsibility of the Hamas movement while “Dahlan fills a political role with everything connected to the Strip’s foreign relations.”

The official also said that within the framework of the understandings between Hamas, Egypt and Dahlan, it was decided that an additional land border crossing would be opened with Egypt in return for Hamas’ commitment to closely supervise the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

According to Alrifayi, “The agreement between Hamas and Dahlan will deepen the Palestinian split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and put an end to any hope of establishing a Palestinian state. What’s needed is a general Palestinian agreement that will bring us out of the current crisis.”

Rifayi said he doesn’t believe that the situation in the Gaza Strip will lead to military conflict with Israel in the near future.

Hamas and Dahlan refused to address the report. The office of Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, did not respond to a query on the matter.