Mohammed Dahlan, a former Fatah security chief, gestures in his office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer
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Mohammad Dahlan, who played a key backroom role in a major new effort for Palestinian unity, has said a two-state peace agreement with Israel was impossible and healing wounds from a civil war that split Palestine was now a priority. Once of the fiercest foes of Hamas, the group that seized the Gaza Strip in a civil war in 2007, Dahlan, a member of the rival mainstream Fatah party, spoke to Reuters after a unity Cabinet held its first meeting in the enclave in three years. Dahlan, 56, a former peace negotiator with Israel who speaks Hebrew and who was born in a refugee camp, noted Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas captured in a 1967 war and which Palestinians seek along with Gaza for a future state.Officials on both sides of the Palestinian divide and in other Arab countries say Dahlan, based since 2011 in the United Arab Emirates, was behind an influx of cash to prop up Gaza, and a detente between Hamas and Arab states including Egypt that led the group to dismantle its shadow government last month.Dahlan said Egypt, which has accused Hamas of aiding an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula across the border from Gaza, held meetings with senior officials of the group, which denies aiding the militants.
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