Former Fatah security commander Muhammad Dahlan on Tuesday called on Hamas not to recognize Israel's right to exist, pointing out that Fatah had never recognized it. This was the first time since the beginning of the peace process 15 years ago that a senior Fatah official has said that his faction does not recognize Israel's right to exist. Dahlan's remarks were made in an interview with the Palestinian Authority's official Palestine TV station.
Dahlan, who has kept a low profile ever since the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, resurfaced during Operation Cast Lead. Since then, he has made several public appearances, the latest being last Friday when he was seen praying next to PA President Mahmoud Abbas in a Ramallah mosque. Fatah officials said that Dahlan's return to the center stage is an indication of his desire to play a role in any post-Abbas administration. They said that Dahlan was recently appointed as a special adviser to Abbas. Dahlan confirmed that he was "providing advice and ideas" to Abbas, especially regarding to the reconciliation talks with Hamas that were launched in Cairo last week.
(…)In the interview, Dahlan was asked about reports that Fatah was demanding that Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist as a precondition for the establishment of a Palestinian "unity government." He called the reports "misleading" and said Hamas was "putting words in our mouths." Dahlan added: "They say that Fatah has asked them to recognize Israel's right to exist and this is a big deception. For the one thousandth time, I want to reaffirm that we are not asking Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. Rather, we are asking Hamas not to do so because Fatah never recognized Israel's right to exist."
He explained that it was the PLO, and not Fatah, which recognized Israel's right to exist when the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. Fatah is the largest faction in the PLO. The second largest faction is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. "We acknowledge that the PLO did recognize Israel's right to exist, but we are not bound by it as a resistance faction," he added. Dahlan boasted that the PA under Yasser Arafat had killed more Palestinians suspected of collaboration with Israel than Hamas. "I want to point out that the Palestinian Authority under Abu Ammar [Arafat's nom du guerre] targeted collaborators 10 times more than Hamas," he said. "We put many of them on trial and executed many others. But we did this in accordance with the law and not the Hamas way."
Now since the horse’s mouth speaks - can we all agree there is something distinctly un-moderate emanating from within the so-called well of Palestinian 'moderate' fractions?