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Mohammed Dahlan

(1961 - )

Born 1961, Khan Yuni camp, Gaza (now Nitzanim). Mr. Dahlan is married with three children.

BA in Business Administration, Islamic University of Gaza.

Mr. Dahlan was a founding member of the Fatah Youth Association in 1981. He is a Fatah party member. In 1994, Mr. Dahlan headed the Preventive Security Forces in Gaza. Dahlan angered Arafat in November 2001 by expressing dissatisfaction over the lack of a coherent policy during the current uprising. He was also criticized by human rights groups for his methods during past crackdowns on Islamic militants.

Dahlan resigned in June 2002 over disagreements with Arafat to reform the Palestinian Authority. He attempted to gather support for an electoral challenge to Arafat, but stopped, out of loyalty to Palestinians, when the Bush administration demanded a change in PA leadership in July of the same year.

Before his resignation from the PA in June 2002, Mr. Dahlan was a frequent member on negotiating teams for security issues. He was a negotiator at the Camp David summit in 2000.

Mr. Dahlan has been arrested eleven times by the Israelis for his involvements as the Gaza leader of the Fatah Shabiba (youth) movement. The arrests occurred between the years 1981 - 1986. Dahlan was a student leader in the Palestinian intifada of the 1980s. In 1988, he was deported to Jordan and later went to Tunis where he continued to orchestrate the protesters and won Arafat's confidence.. Mr. Dahlan returned to Gaza in 1994. Upon his return to Gaza in 1994, he enjoyed a wave of popular support.

Mr. Dahlan favors the creation of a unitary security apparatus under the authority of one person, which President Bush and the Israelis also want to see established.

Although he has been highly sought after by Mr. Abbas to join the new cabinet because of his experience and reform ideas, Mr. Dahlan carries baggage that opponents will use against him. Mr. Dahlan has been accused of using custom cell phone technology to stage terrorism strikes from secure distances; eliminating the need for suicide bombers. Prime Minister Sharon has blamed him for the attack on a bus in Gaza in Nov. 2000.

Sources: The Guardian,, San Francisco Jewish Community Publications,, MIRA, MSNBC, (December 6, 2001)