File - Palestinian Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan gestures as he speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Jan. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
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Some caution that Dahlan has made too many enemies in Abbas' Fatah movement and will continue to be ostracized by those planning to compete for the top job in the future.Abbas aide Nimr Hamad and senior Fatah official Jamal Muhaisen declined to comment Thursday on Dahlan's statements.Dahlan has since spent his time between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.Before the fallout he was one of a few Palestinian leaders who saw themselves as potential contenders for succeeding Abbas. Dahlan grew up poor in a Gaza refugee camp, but as a top aide to Arafat became the territory's strongman in the 1990s, jailing leaders of rival Hamas, which was trying to derail Arafat's negotiations with Israel through bombing and shooting attacks. Dahlan's relationship with Gaza and former arch-enemy Hamas is particularly complex.The defeat cemented the Palestinian political split, leading to rival governments, one run by Hamas in Gaza and the other by Abbas in parts of the West Bank, and was seen as perhaps the biggest blot on Dahlan's career.In January, Hamas allowed three Fatah leaders loyal to Dahlan to return to the territory.Abbas was elected in 2005, but overstayed his five-year term because the Hamas-Fatah split has prevented new elections.
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