The establishing of an open relationship between Israel and the Gulf Emirates has elevated the name of the senior Fatah chief Mohammad Dahlan, and his name is mentioned among the commentators as the possible successor to the aging Mahmoud Abbas.
Well, Dahlan won't succeed Mahmoud Abbas.
The international community had already tried him, and the consequences were catastrophic. He took over the practical control of Gaza in preparation for Israel's withdrawal from there, and he proved that he could be anything but a leader. Under his leadership, Gaza sank into widespread anarchy with no political address that could be reached there. Only the takeover of Gaza by Hamas by deposing Dahlan in shame created some address in Gaza, though problematic. This problematic address is by far better than the total anarchy under Dahlan.
When we visited Jenin some months ago the Fatah’s seniors admitted to us that Dahlan was helping them, but when we asked them if they would agree that he would replace Mahmoud Abbas as the next leader, they replied that this can’t happen under no circumstances because “he was from Gaza”.
In general, from his seat in Abu Dhabi, Dahlan has evolved into security, intelligence issues but not as a political leader. He is involved in security matters in many places: the refugee camps in Lebanon (and the West West), the former Yugoslavia, the Caucasus, YOU NAME IT. If he comes to Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority will become a focal point of global subversion, and no one wants it to happen. Everyone wants a stable and calm Palestine, not a volcano.
What can happen is that he can support from the outside in a proper gallery of personalities, like Salam Fayyad, who is the one who may do his big comeback.
But this is too early to tell.