Former Fatah leader sues ‘tyrannical’ Abbas for corruption, intimidation

Using Israeli law firm, Mohammed Dahlan petitions International Criminal Court, demanding lost job and property

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Mohammad Dahlan in 2006 (Michal Fattal/Flash90)
Mohammad Dahlan in 2006 (Michal Fattal/Flash90)

A member of the Fatah Central Committee has filed an international lawsuit against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claiming Abbas was the author of a campaign of intimidation against him, and saying corruption in the PA is harming the Palestinian people.

In his suit, Mohammed Dahlan seeks the restoration of his former position in the PA administration and of property confiscated from him, as well as an assurance that he would not be harmed if he returned to Palestinian Authority territory.

Dahlan, who currently resides in Dubai and Europe, hired an Israeli law firm to file the complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported on Wednesday. The firm is run by Zaki Kamal, the deputy president of the Israel Bar Association, and his son, Kamal Kamal.

Dahlan claimed in his suit that Abbas was out to get him because he was seen as a potential competitor for the leadership of the PA.

Dahlan accused the Palestinian leader of “tyrannical behavior the utter corruption of which, along with the corruption of his family, is damaging to the Palestinian people and the authority’s institutions,” the report said.

A copy of the suit was sent to Abbas, with no response; copies were then sent to UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Human Rights Commission, the secretary of the European Union, and Quartet representative Tony Blair.

“I and my family have for a long time been subjected to terror and harassment, persecution, arrests, defamation, threats to life and damage to property,” Dahlan wrote. “The campaign against me knows no moral or legal limits, nor even national boundaries.”

A former head of the Palestinian internal security services in Gaza, Dahlan accused the PA of being a corrupt institution under Abbas’s thumb.

“The activity against me is conclusive proof not only of the alarming level of corruption and tyranny on the part of Abu Mazen [Abbas], but also that, in practice, there is no discipline and consideration of the law, to trial, or the legislative institutes in the authority,” he wrote. “In practice, government in the authority is a tyrannical rule of one person — Mr. Mahmoud Abbas — and all of the authority’s institutes, its budgets and international relations are nothing other than means available to Abbas and his family, and their financial, political and personal interests.”

PA sources confirmed to Yedioth Ahronoth that they had received the lawsuit but said they were following a policy of “ignoring accusations that are a mix of well-known personal interests on the part of the accuser and false accusations.”

Dahlan was a Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip before the organization’s ouster by Hamas in 2007. On his arrival in the West Bank, he was blamed by colleagues for the loss of Gaza, sparking an intense rivalry began between him and Abbas. Two years ago he was expelled from the territories after Abbas suspected him of organizing a coup. Since then he has been become a wealthy businessman and one of the closest confidants of the royal family in the UAE.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed