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Former Fatah top official Dahlan praises 2021 riot and rocket war as Palestinian “victory”

Former Fatah top official Muhammad Dahlan: “I can say with certainty, with pride, and with honor that the Palestinian people has restored the Palestinian cause to being on the international community’s agenda (i.e., via Arab riots and Hamas rockets.)... It is a victory of the unity of the Palestinian people – the residents of the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and our people in the 1948 [territories] (i.e., Israel)… The Palestinian people took the reins in its hands without its leadership and did not ask for permission from anyone. It rose up in Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip identified with it, and the West Bank was dragged after it. Afterwards, the crown of this act was that our people in the 1948 [territories] worked to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and identified with our people in Jerusalem. Therefore, this beautiful picture that the Palestinian people drew with its sacrifices, its Martyrs, its wounded, and with all these acts of heroism that we saw from the Gaza Strip, stated that Jerusalem is a red line and is upheld with Palestinian blood.”

Muhammad Dahlan - Palestinian politician, former Fatah official, and former head of the PA Preventive Security Force in the Gaza Strip (1993-2002). Dahlan now lives in the UAE after he fell out with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and had to leave the West Bank in 2011, later being convicted in absentia by the PA for fraud and sentenced to prison. Dahlan has been mentioned as one of the candidates to succeed Abbas.

Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.