Monday, July 30, 2007
From Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem
"Fatah leaders have been trading accusations over responsibilities for the group’s mid-June defeat in Gaza at the hands of the Hamas resistance movement.
Earlier this week, a committee appointed by Fatah’s PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to investigate Hamas’s takeover in Gaza issued a report indicting dozens of Fatah officers from the various Palestinian security agencies.
The report also concluded that the security agencies suffered “serious structural problems” and were beset by chronic flaws, including lack of professionalism, nepotism, favoritism and cronyism in addition to other forms of corruption.
Parts of the report faulting high-ranking Fatah leaders such as former Gaza strongman Muhammed Dahlan and his aide Rashid Abu Shbak will remain secret for the time being, according to Fatah sources. However, the conclusions and recommendations issued by the investigating committee, headed by Tayeb Abdul Rahim, have already been castigated by several Fatah leaders, including Samir Masharawi, a former aide to Dahlan and a prominent Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip.
Masharawi, who fled to Ramallah along with dozens of pro-Dahlan officers after Hamas took over Gaza , called the committee report “preposterous and unfair.” He pointed out that a week prior to Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas instructed seven high-ranking Fatah leaders to travel to Gaza and to lead the movement, in light of the deteriorating circumstances there. “He gave them the authority, telling them you are authorized to do whatever you consider necessary to bolster Fatah. You claim that Dahlan is the problem. Now Dahlan is not there, take care of the problem.”
Masharawi said that none of the seven people instructed to travel to Gaza came to Gaza for unknown reasons. “Two of the committee members, Tayeb Abdul Rahim and Rawhi Fattouh agreed to travel to Gaza immediately. The other five found all sorts of excuses not to do so. In the end, none of the seven came to Gaza. How is it that a committee investigating the failure of Fatah didn’t find them responsible?”
Another Fatah leader in the southern part of the West Bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity, apparently because he is worried that his views may not be popular among Fatah circles, said the problem within Fatah “goes beyond Dahlan and Masharawi and Abu Shbak.” “The problem lies squarely with Abu Mazen. It was Abu Mazen who instructed Dahlan to liaise with the Americans, to collaborate with the CIA, to do all the dirty work he did and was planning to do.”
The Fatah leader accused Abbas of “trying to undermine and destroy all the ideals of Yasser Arafat by converting the entire Fatah organization into a mercenary group in the service of the CIA and some specific Arab regimes.”
Veteran Fatah leader and former Chief of the Preventive Security Force in the West Bank , Jebril Rajoub, tacitly supported these views, calling the Dahlan network in Gaza a “for-hire intelligence operation” which he said “was active around the Middle East and provided information to the Americans, the British and others.”
Hamas officials in Gaza have revealed that they possess “thousands of damning” documents indicting Dahlan and his cohorts for working for the CIA and spying on Islamic movements and a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
A Hamas intelligence official, Khalil al Hayya, was quoted on Monday as saying that the CIA utilized Palestinian agents for covert intelligence operations in other Middle Eastern countries. Hamas, he said, now possesses a roadmap detailing the names and actions of “those they thought were going to be their hand across the region.”"