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Dahlan announces return to Ramallah

Dec. 30, 2010 2:11 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 1, 2011 12:05 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma’an) -- Speaking out following a Fatah announcement that he would be barred from party leadership meetings until an investigation was complete, former Gaza official Mohammad Dahlan told his news channel that he would return to Ramallah at the New Year to answer questions for the investigation.

Dahlan continued to brush off an investigation, which Israeli news sources said looks into allegations that Dahlan attempted to launch a private militia in the West Bank, calling the investigation a "fabricated crisis," during a broadcast on Amad TV, a station funded by Dahlan himself.

Speaking from Cairo, Dahlan said he would return to Ramallah and appear before the committee appointed to investigate him, but added that he "reserved the right" to keep details closed until the investigation was completed.

"Bylaws of Fatah stipulate that matters of internal interest to the party must not be circulated in the media," he explained, adding that the Fatah Central Committee, of which he was elected a member in August 2009, failed to inform him that he had been suspended.

"Attempts by some parties to exaggerate internal splits at this time are making the issue seem like a crisis," he said, pointing to Israel and accusing the government of "working against Fatah."

Speaking to reporters en route to Brazil, Fatah leader and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas refused to answer questions about the status of Dahlan, saying that he had "nothing personal" against him and any bad blood had been forgiven. As to the investigation, he said the committee charged with the process would reach its own conclusion.

According to Dahlan, Abbas had earlier appointed a "Follow-up Committee" to respond to the issue, he said that he had answered the committees questions, which brought its findings to the president. Dahlan said that Abbas had found the findings of that first committee "unsatisfactory" and mandated a second committee with wider-ranging powers.

"I will not be party to the weakening of Fatah, I will assume my responsibilities and show understanding to the exceptional conditions and suffering of Fatah members in Gaza because of the internal split, I will frustrate their attempts to cause this fabricated crisis," he said of the inquiry.

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