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Dahlan adds support to Ramallah protests

July 3, 2012 12:01 P.M. (Updated: July 4, 2012 4:22 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Ousted Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan on Monday voiced his support to youth protests in Ramallah against Palestinian Authority policies.

Dahlan said peace talks with Israel, which first brought Palestinians to the streets on Saturday, simply serve to consume time while Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian land.

He said in a statement that the previously planned visit of Israeli deputy Shaul Mofaz, which was called off as protests were announced, aimed to disconnect the Palestinian leadership from its true role to protect the people and the nation.

Dahlan said the Palestinian Authority's repression of the protesters exemplifies the passivity and detachment that has overtaken the Palestinian national project.

He also condemned the shooting attack on Fatah lawmaker Shami al-Shami on Saturday, calling on Palestinians to remain united in the face of the outbreak of violence in the area.

A former security chief in the Gaza Strip under Fatah, Dahlan fled the West Bank after his ouster from the party last June, after which security forces raided his home.

Responding to Dahlan's support for the demonstrators, a Facebook group run by organizers of the protests urged people to not "take advantage" of incidents in Ramallah "for personal use."
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