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Abbas Arrests Exiled Rival’s Supporters in West Bank
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Mohammed Dahlan (right). (Palestinian presidency/Wikimedia Commons and World Economic Forum)

Abbas Arrests Exiled Rival’s Supporters in West Bank

Security officials of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority on Monday arrested seven men known for supporting Mohammed Dahlan, a political rival of PA President Mahmoud Abbas who was exiled to the United Arab Emirates nearly a decade ago. Dahlan, a member of Abbas’ Fatah party, is suspected by PA officials of nudging along the Abraham Accords, UAE’s agreement to normalize relations with Israel, signed at the White House last week. Dahlan’s faction members have decried the normalization pact and have called on Arab states to continue their stonewalling of Israel, yet Abbas’ circle believes the exiled politician facilitated the deal behind the scenes from his Abu-Dhabi residence, in an attempt to politically weaken the aging president in Ramallah. According to a statement released by his camp, Dahlan’s senior allies Haytham al-Halabi and Salim Abu Safia were among the seven detained. The PA, meanwhile, claimed the arrests were “a continuation of efforts to impose security and order.”

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