The Fatah leadership echelons are going to convene tonight in Ramallah to discuss how to respond to the Israeli Emarati developments amid the radical spirit in the PA that may entail radical decisions.
However, in the bottom-line the forthcoming agreement between Israel and the Emirates shuttered a basic axiom that the PLO adhered to for many years that the Palestinian problem cannot be bypassed, and the Arab Initiative is based on the principle that only after Israel reaches a peace with the Palestinians – the normalization with “the Arab and the Moslem” worlds will be possible.
However, whatever the leadership echelons will decide tonight – the PA is too weak to have any effect on the course of developments and the importance of the decisions will be on an eye open on the internal developments on the succession race and especially to curb the influence of the pro-Saudi/Emarati circles within the PA leadership and especially the appearance of Dahlan as main challenger to the current Fatah echelons around Abu Mazen.
Dahlan is based in the Emirates and is the anchor of the pro Gulf/Saudi camp among the Palestinians. But, in my opinion, he will not present himself as a leader because of plenty of reasons. When he had to go into exile in the Gulf, he wasn't a regional even international figure like he is today. Now, he is operating in many scenes – in the Balkans, in Caucasia in Syria, Lebanon – you name it. You may say that the services that Khaled Mash’al are giving Qatar, Dahlan is giving to the Emirates. In this case, either the Gulf will not be interested to lose Dahlan or Israel will not be interested that a troublemaker like him will locate himself near her.
But, he may well support from afar a group of personnel in the PA that will represent the pro Saudi/Emirate interests versus Qatar and Turkey (and Iran) and the most prominent among them in the boss of the General Intelligence Majed Faraj.
One has to pay attention that the Egyptian delegation to Gaza changed its course on Sunday, and instead of heading to meet Hamas – arrived in Ramallah to meet… Faraj. There is not much to discuss with him currently, it was only to give a message that he is the one that the Arab Sunni axis wants to see as the next leader of the PA that will pass the Trump plan, once Trump is re-elected.
Faraj’s group also includes Hussein a-Sheikh and the Mahmud al-Habbash from Ramallah.
Their main opponent is the “Arafat group” of the Tanzim that is led by Mahmud al-Alul in Nablus. When I met some time ago with a leader in this group in Ramallah what they are going to do once Faraj will prevail in the race, he did not hesitate to say: will shoot him. Actually, shooting has already started in the PA. 2 weeks ago in a shootout between the PA formal forces and the Tanzim in Nablus over enforcing corona shut down – the PA forces killed the Tanzim leader of Balata.
A week after, a Tanzim personnel from Jenin, killed the brother of Hussein a Sheikh during a clan’s shootout in Ramallah and it is believed that he wanted to kill Hussein a Sheikh himself.
In Nablus, the governor that sent the PA force to Balata is a close relative of Majed Faraj.
Rajub, who represents the Qatari line, is pushing towards reconciliation with the Qatari/Turkish wing of Hamas. So, far none has joined him in this effort and he is quite alone. But according to our sources in Ramallah, one of the issues that will be discussed tonight will be replacing Shtayya’s government with “organizations” government that will open up to Hamas as well. It was already discussed, but was abandoned and now it may well return to the front.
I learnt from my sources in Ramallah that they're on going many telephone calls from the Hamas Turkish/Qatari with rank and file Fatah operatives in this direction and the pressure may yield fruits now.
In this sense a possible decision of this kind is not only about how to foil the Israeli Emarati development but also to block the Faraj group from having an advantage in the succession race.