February 4, 2015 | Quote

Palestinians Look to Exiled Mohammad Dahlan for Abbas Successor

At 53, Mr Dahlan is young by the standards of Fatah’s ageing leadership. He is said to have the backing of the UAE and Egypt — two of the Arab countries leading the fight against Islamists — and is rumoured to have held meetings with senior Israeli officials.

In the UAE, he has emerged as a close adviser to Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, helping him in his drive to project military and financial power against political Islam. Abu Dhabi has since 2012 cracked down on its own Islamists and supported moves against the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood across the region.

As Grant Rumley, a research analyst with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in a recent note: “Dahlan is clearly positioning himself as someone waiting in the wings.”

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Palestinian Politics