Abbas and Dahlan (AP)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Mohammed Dahlan. The rift between them continues to threaten Palestinian consolidation. Photo by AP
Text size

Israel is considering shifting its attention from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas towards his bitter rival Mohammed Dahlan, the former Fatah leader who now lives in exile in the Gulf, the website Middle East Monitor reported on Thursday.

The London-based news website cited unnamed Israeli intellingence sources in its report.

Israel is also seeking rapprochement with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt in its attempts to make Dahlan the point person for any future dialogue with the Palestinian Authority, the report said.

Once a prominent official in Abbas's Western-backed Fatah movement, Dahlan was ousted from the group in 2011 following accusations of corruption. He denied the charges and remains a powerful figure on the sidelines, forging ties with numerous Arab leaders and maintaining links with the splintered Fatah.

According to site's sources, the U.S. does not support this initiative since the aforementioned Arab states are currently in conflict with the Muslim Brotherhood – and involving these parties in negotiations would incorporate Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, into the greater regional conflict.