Exclusive: Mohammed Dahlan on Israel-Hamas War, Biden’s Role

As calls develop for a ceasefire in Gaza, there’s mounting hypothesis over simply who has the credibility to assist dealer a deal between Israelis and Palestinians. 

Mohammed Dahlan—the previous nationwide safety adviser and a frontrunner of the Fatah social gathering—was as soon as seen by each Washington and the Arab world as a go-to mediator between Tel Aviv and Gaza. Dahlan has spent the higher a part of the final decade within the UAE, successfully exiled from his homeland and with out an official place in authorities.

In an interview on Nov. 15 in Dubai, Dahlan says that whereas he believes solely the U.S. could make an enduring peace settlement, President Joe Biden’s function within the battle dangers a cycle of Palestinian resistance that “has no finish.”

Hardly ever granting interviews with Western press, Dahlan is now courting the media. A current proposal for a two-year transitional authorities of technocrats in Gaza and the West Financial institution raises questions over whether or not he would possibly make a play for the management.  

This interview has been edited for readability and size. 

TIME: When you consider what peace might appear to be, is there any peace for the Israelis and the Palestinians that features Benjamin Netanyahu?

Mohammed Dahlan: Netanyahu is the most important liar within the historical past of the Israeli folks. He lies to his folks, to not us. He destroyed the State of Israel and never the Palestinian folks. Subsequently, we weren’t in a position to forge peace with him previously, and whoever believes they’ll forge peace with him within the current or future is deluded. 

He’s committing this bloodbath towards youngsters in Gaza to guard his political standing and his place in Israel. He doesn’t care about Israel’s safety, he doesn’t care about Israeli residents, not to mention Palestinians, and due to this fact he desires this warfare to pull on and on. 

As a Palestinian, do you consider that Hamas must be punished for the assault on Israel? 

Let’s assume that Hamas doesn’t exist; is there anybody in Israel who can get up boldly and say it’s time to give the Palestinian folks a Palestinian State with the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital? And stay in peace with the Palestinian folks? If such an individual is discovered, you can find that a lot of the Palestinian folks will assist this. 

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We’re not warmongers, however we defend ourselves bravely. We’re not those calling for killing others, but when others come to kill us, now we have the proper to defend ourselves. That’s the reason we’re provoked by the place of the U.S. administration and a few leaders of the worldwide neighborhood after they repeat Netanyahu’s lies that Israel has the proper to defend itself. Which means that Israel has the proper to kill harmless folks and kids and enter and destroy hospitals? That is how Israel interprets this license that it obtained from the U.S. Secretary of State, President Biden, and leaders in Europe.

However once more, the entire world is watching. Do you consider that Hamas must be punished? Sure or no?

I imply, there’s nothing within the Palestinian battle that may be answered with sure or no. Have you ever heard one Israeli assertion condemning the killing of harmless youngsters? I’m not speaking about militants in Gaza. There have been none. Secondly, have you ever heard a European official condemning Israeli statements from officers on the usage of fuel and mass killing on this large jail that’s the Gaza Strip? There have been none. Subsequently, for any Palestinian or any Arab defending the rights of the Palestinians to say sure or no, we is not going to say it.

Would you think about being a part of a future authorities?

It’s the worldwide neighborhood who determined that Mahmoud Abbas would stay in energy with out elections. Israel, the USA and the West. They selected our behalf.  When Israel and Abbas rejected elections below the pretext of Jerusalem, they needed to deepen corruption, deepen the division between the West Financial institution and Gaza, and additional the occupation. This concept failed after Oct. 7, and whoever desires to repeat the identical errors should bear future penalties.

However, sure or no query, would you be prepared to be a part of a future Palestinian authorities?

No, completely no.


However I’ll assist, if there is a chance to rebuild the Palestinian political system. Then sure, I’ll actually assist as a result of I’ve credibility within the Palestinian avenue … I’ve relations with all organizations, which permits them to take heed to me. However personally, I positively is not going to be, and I do not need to be.

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You’re a considerably controversial determine. What are you able to do to assist the Palestinian folks?

An individual who shouldn’t be controversial shouldn’t be helpful, that’s my view. Secondly, with regard to the connection I’ve constructed over the previous years, I believe I’ve a very good relationship with all factions. I’ve a relationship with civil society, I’ve a relationship with Hamas, with the [Islamic] Jihad, with the Fashionable Entrance, with all organizations. All of them tried me whereas I used to be not in energy, and noticed that I didn’t hand over. Now how can I assist? I assist with cash, I assist by way of college students, I assist in many issues which have been introduced and a big half has not been introduced. I’ll proceed to take action. I think about it a private responsibility that I’ll fulfill with out being in an official place.

The broader Arab world was trending in the direction of peace and I’m speaking in regards to the Abraham Accords. Saudi Arabia was on the verge of signing on to that settlement.  Does that imply the area is kind of inclined to peace now given what we’ve seen?

I consider that if Israel makes peace with the entire world and doesn’t make peace with the Palestinian folks, it is not going to have safety, it is not going to receive it, it is not going to obtain stability, it is not going to receive it. They won’t discover the Palestinian folks giving in to their will. Fairly, we’ll enter a steady cycle of resistance that has no finish. 

When Golda Meir used to say that their elders will die and their youngsters will overlook, our elders have died and our youngsters have turn into extra patriotic than us and extra dedicated to their rights than us. I can inform [Israel] nothing good will come out of this. The subsequent era will probably be tenfold extra dedicated to nationwide rights, stronger and with a extra tenacious will, as a result of this era has seen the bombing with their very own eyes. It will be higher to not push them to the revenge that Israel has in thoughts. It will be higher if Europe and America rekindle the hope of independence, in any other case the way forward for Israel will probably be black.

Once we see protests erupt internationally, many Jews that I communicate to in the USA, in France, in the UK, they’re very frightened. They’re frightened that they’ll’t ship their children to high school and ensure that they’ll come house safely.  Ought to they be residing in this type of worry?

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We’re not towards Jews. We, Palestinians, are usually not towards Jews. We additionally don’t stand towards some Israelis. What we stand towards is the Israeli occupation and the mentality of the Israeli occupation solely. 

Is the dialog surrounding a two-state answer a non-starter?

Israel doesn’t need a one-state answer and doesn’t need a two-state answer. It solely seeks to deepen and strengthen the occupation. That is not going to occur and we’ll resist. Nevertheless, if the worldwide neighborhood works with out repeating the previous errors and with out beginning limitless negotiations for the subsequent 30 years, perhaps if a two-state answer is obtainable to the Arab international locations, the Palestinian management and the Palestinian folks, it could discover a possibility. Nevertheless, that is primarily America’s duty. America is the one which killed the kids of Palestine in these 40 days. It’s obliged to supply an answer. The answer will be viable by the best way. It doesn’t require additional negotiations. We’ve got negotiated for 20 years relating to the borders, Jerusalem, refugees, water assets, and a demilitarized state. All the small print are there and solely want political selections..

So in your thoughts, the one of us who can transfer this ahead are the Individuals?

We stay in a single state.The 2-state answer lies within the arms of America, not within the arms of Netanyahu or the Israeli aspect. If the U.S. administration has the political will because it had the political will to assist Netanyahu in killing youngsters, it will possibly impose a two-state answer inside a document time. I believe that the Arab international locations are extra prepared than they had been 20 years in the past to assist this answer.

Who has the political will, the political credibility, the political leverage to name time on this example and make peace? 

Solely the USA, solely the USA. The U.S., somewhat the U.S. administration, can change in a single day from a rustic that helps crime and homicide to a rustic that makes peace. Solely the USA.

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