WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – U.S. Ambassador to the occupied territories, David Friedman, has openly admitted that Washington interferes in other countries’ domestic affairs, by saying that America is considering replacing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with Fatah’s dismissed leader, Mohammed Dahlan.
Friedman made the comments in an interview with Israel Today, which is known to be close to the Zionist regime’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
When asked whether the U.S. administration is considering nominating Dahlan, who currently lives in the UAE, as the new Palestinian leader, Friedman replied: "We are thinking about it.”
The newspaper pointed out that according to reports, the United States may support Dahlan in order to remove Abbas.
Friedman attacked the Palestinian leadership, while referring to the West Bank as Judea and Samaria.
"The Palestinian leadership is not serving the people properly,” he claimed and added, "I believe that people in Judea and Samaria want a better life. The Palestinian people need to understand that it is possible to achieve such a goal.”
Palestinian Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh roundly dismissed Friedman’s remarks, stressing that Washington’s campaign of pressure against the Palestinian nation and President Abbas is doomed to failure.
"Only our Palestinian people can decide their leadership according to the democratic foundations laid by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is trying to pressure the Palestinian leadership through threats, intimidation, and the cheap policy of blackmail,” he said.
"Suspicious campaigns and conspiracies aimed at liquidation of our national cause, particularly those targeting the issue of al-Quds and its sacred sites besides symbols of the Palestinian nation, are rejected. Palestinian people will draw the map [of their independent state] and will choose the leadership that best safeguards their national rights and principles.”
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Friedman’s remarks fall within a U.S.-Zionist plot that is known to all.
"Some Arabs are clearly involved in the plot in order to undermine the legitimacy of President Mahmoud Abbas, because of his steadfastness and courage to defend the rights of Palestinians, his refusal to capitulate to U.S.-Israeli diktats, and his resilience against pressure by some Arab states to sell the legitimate national rights of Palestinians.”
Friedman’s statements, he said, amount to political bankruptcy, and reflect the level of Trump administration’s arrogance towards the legitimate national rights of Palestinians and their elected leadership.
"Such comments will only strengthen Palestinians’ resolve to rally around their legitimate leadership until an independent state is created on 1967 borders with al-Quds as its capital, and the Palestinian right of return is reserved in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194,” Shtayyeh said.
Fifty-seven-year-old Dahlan was expelled from Fatah’s ruling body in 2011 on allegations of plotting to overthrow Abbas and has been living in exile in the UAE since 2012.
He was the former head of the Fatah-dominated Preventive Security Force in the Gaza Strip.
He has been sentenced in absentia to three years in prison in 2016 by a Palestinian court for corruption, and ordered to repay $16 million, according to his lawyers.
Dahlan once led a coup against the elected Hamas government in Gaza in 2007. The plan was a massive failure and in a matter of days in the summer of 2007, the resistance movement routed out Dahlan’s forces.