Fatah denies ‘tension’ with Egypt

With Egypt hosting a conference reported to be organised by disgraced Fatah leader Mohamed Dahlan, the secular movement denied that there is any “tension” in its relationship with the government in Cairo, Anadolu has reported. “Our relationship with Egypt is good, steadfast and historic,” the Secretary of Fatah’s High Leadership Committee in Gaza, Ibrahim Abul-Naja, told a press conference on Sunday.

He was responding to reports in Palestinian and Arabic media that relations are tense between Egypt and Fatah over the conference, which is being hosted by a research group affiliated to the Egyptian intelligence services. The conference about the future of the Palestinian issue is said to be organised by Dahlan, who was dismissed from Fatah in June 2011.

“The Egyptian president sent a message to President Mahmoud Abbas telling him that he is ‘the legitimacy’ and his government does not deal with anyone except the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority,” explained Abul-Naja. “This proves the consolidation of Egyptian-Palestinian relations.”

He insisted that the united Fatah lists for the local elections, which were due on 8 October but were cancelled by the Supreme Court in Ramallah, prove that Fatah is united. On Saturday, the movement criticised the conference and stressed that it would not accept or adopt any of its expected recommendations.

It is noteworthy that a 100-person delegation of Fatah members and leaders in Gaza travelled to Egypt through the Rafah Crossing to attend the conference. Also expected to attend are senior Arab and Egyptian officials, including the Secretary General of the Arab League. Dahlan is being touted in some circles as the successor to Abbas.