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Report: Jordan seizes assets of expelled Fatah leader

Jan. 9, 2012 12:50 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 10, 2012 2:22 P.M.)
AMMAN (Ma'an) -- The assets of Muhammad Dahlan and his brother were seized by Jordanian authorities to allow Palestinian officials to pursue corruption allegations against the ousted Fatah strongman, Jordanian media reported on Monday.

The head of Public Prosecutions in the Jordanian capital ordered the Central Bank of Jordan to foreclose the real estate and financial holdings of Dahlan, his brother and another unnamed individual, Jordanian daily Al-Rai reported.

The seizure comes after head of the PA anti-corruption commission Rafiq al-Natsheh said last week that his agency is chasing corruption suspects living outside of Palestine, pending an agreement with their countries of residence.

Al-Natsheh insisted "We will ask these countries to help us restore the stolen public money."

Dahlan, who was head of Gaza's powerful security forces, was formerly a leading Fatah figure.

Known for his fierce opposition to the Hamas movement, Dahlan led a merciless crackdown on the group in the 1990s, rounding up thousands of Islamists who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the newly-created Palestinian Authority.

But he fell from grace in June 2007 after the humiliating rout of his forces by Hamas fighters during days of fierce street battles in Gaza, which saw Hamas expel Fatah forces from the territory.

Two years later, he returned to the political stage when he was elected to the Fatah central committee in August 2009.

But in December 2010, he was suspended from the committee which said it had set up a commission of inquiry to examine his finances and claims he tried to set up a personal militia.

Dahlan was voted out of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, the party's governing body, in June 2011, for suspected "criminal acts" that were not specified.

Palestinian forces raided the Ramallah home of the former preventative security chief the following month, detaining twelve of his personal security guards and seizing communications devices, computers, weapons and two of his personal cars.
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