Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is covertly seeking out other potential Palestinian Arab peace partners to negotiate with – instead of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Thursday. The news comes as current Israeli-PA framework agreement talks enter their seventh month.
Netanyahu’s special envoy, Yitzchak Molcho, has met with Abbas rival Mohammed Dahlan on at least one occasion, according to Ma’ariv.
Mohammed Dahlan is a former Fatah Central Committee member who was once a leading Palestinian political figure. At the peak of his power Dahlan was also head of the Preventive Security Authority of the Palestinian Authority. However, he fell from grace when terror group Hamas forcefully took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, a development for which he was held responsible by Abbas.
Following Hamas’s conquest of Gaza, Dahlan attempted to oust Abbas as ruler of the Palestinian Authority. However, Abbas managed to beat back Dahlan, who was eventually forced out of Fatah.
Since then, Dahlan has been trying to create pockets of internal resistance to the President of the PA, Ma’ariv said.
The back channel talks with Dahlan are being conducted in part because of a realization by Israeli leaders that Abbas is either unwilling or unable to sign a final status agreement with Jerusalem, Ma’ariv said.
In contrast, Dahlan is believed by some senior level government officials in Jerusalem to genuinely desire peace with Israel. Supporters of the discussions inside the Israeli government also believe that Dahlan could act as an important bridge between the West Bank and Gaza, which was at one point Dahlan’s power center, according to the report.
Read more at THE ALGEMEINER JOURNAL.