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Friedman’s Talk About 'Next Leader' Sparks Palestinian Anger

Friedman’s Talk About 'Next Leader' Sparks Palestinian Anger

Friday, 18 September, 2020 - 10:30
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman - Reuters

The Palestinian presidency rejected what it described as the US “policy of threat, pressure and intimidation” against Palestinian President, in response to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who said that the US administration might consider Mohammad Dahlan, who was dismissed from Fatah Movement, as a future leader for the Palestinians.


“The policy of threats, constant pressure, and attempts to intimidate President Mahmoud Abbas and the leadership will be doomed to failure,” Presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina said on Thursday.


“Only our Palestinian people can choose their leader according to the democratic foundations laid by the Palestine Liberation Organization,” he added.


Friedman’s comments, quoted by Israel Hayom, sparked anger and controversy, which forced the Israeli daily to edit the ambassador’s statements.


The ambassador reportedly said that the US administration was thinking about Dahlan becoming the leader of the Palestinians. But the newspaper later revised the article, quoting Friedman as replying to a question on Dahlan: “We’re not thinking about it,” we have no desire to engineer the Palestinian leadership.


Member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Ahmed Majdalani, warned of US efforts to harm Abbas, similar to what happened with the late leader Yasser Arafat, in order to pass the so-called deal of the century.


“The coming stage will witness more US punitive measures against the Palestinian leadership,” Majdalani told Voice of Palestine radio station.


Hamas leader Sami Abu Zuhri said for his part: “The statements of the US ambassador about the desire to appoint Mohammad Dahlan as head of the Authority represent an unacceptable interference in internal affairs, and there will be no Palestinian president except through the Palestinian will.”


In response, Dahlan said on his Facebook page: “I have all faith that Palestine is in dire need of renewing the legitimacy of all Palestinian leaderships and institutions. This will only be achieved through comprehensive and transparent national elections.”


“I hope no one will fall into the trap of such carefully engineered tactics,” he continued. “Let us work together to restore our national unity and agree on our national constants and the means to achieve them.”


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