Al-Ahram Weekly Online   8 - 14 June 2006
Issue No. 798
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Dahlan vows to decimate Hamas

By Khaled Amayreh

Click to view caption
Palestinian girls cry after an explosion in the Jabalia Camp, Gaza

OFF THE RECORD, or so he thought, Fatah's former security boss in Gaza has strong words for Hamas and wavering Fatah supporters, reports Khaled Amayreh.

Former Gaza strongman Mohamed Dahlan said during a closed meeting held recently in Gaza that he would "rough up and humiliate" Fatah members or supporters who might be tempted to join the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

Speaking at the meeting held at the Gaza radio station, Al-Hurreya, Dahlan also said that, "Fatah has been 'out of order' since 1972."

"Fatah has been broken, destroyed, and is thriving only on the blood of the martyrs and suffering of the prisoners as well as personal and individual initiatives," he said.

The former chief of the Preventive Security Services in Gaza warned opponents within Fatah, saying: "The march will go on and if our brothers seek to stop it, they will be roughed up."

"Fatah is being run with the tools of failure. Okay, leave these tools as they are, but try to augment them with other tools that would conceal their blemishes and ill repute.

"You see, I learned from Abu Ammar [the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat] two things: if you want to delve into political action, especially in Palestine, the ability to persuade and the power to persuade. I asked Abu Ammar what he meant by the power to persuade and he said 'the rod'."

In an audiotape of the meeting made available to Al-Ahram Weekly, Dahlan is heard railing against Hamas, often using derogatory language.

"I told them [Hamas] that they would eat [expletive] if they recognised Israel and would eat [expletive] if they didn't recognise Israel. They would eat [expletive] if they recognised the Arab initiative and would eat [expletive] if they didn't."

Dahlan also tacitly admits that he has been behind much of the lawlessness and security chaos in Gaza: "I just deploy two jeeps, and people would say Gaza is on fire."

Dahlan says Hamas's victory in the elections was "a disaster", or nakba, for the movement, and yet, "Hamas is now the weakest Palestinian faction. They are whining and complaining. Well, they will have to suffer yet more until they are damned to the seventh ancestor. I will haunt them from now till the end of their term in four years. And I swear, whoever within Fatah says 'we should join the government," I will humiliate them."

Finally, Dahlan is heard telling the owner of the station that he would be willing to provide armed men to protect the station in exchange for the station adopting a sympathetic line. "I commit myself to meeting all your needs," he says.

The owner of the station, Majdi Arabeed, is also heard saying: "The station will adopt your way," with Dahlan responding " Al-Hamdulilah," or "Praise be to God."

Dahlan's office in Gaza refused to return calls requesting comment on the audiotape.

Dahlan, during a live interview with al-Jazeera TV earlier this week didn't deny the reality of the tape, when confronted with it by Hamas representative in Lebanon Muhammed Nazzal, saying rather laconically that he had nothing to apologise for.

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