Former Palestinian Authority (PA) official Mohammed Dahlan called to halt the security coordination with Israel Thursday, as he stood in support of replacing current PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas with jailed arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti.
"After Israel destroyed the peace process, the Palestinian Authority no longer plays the same role it played in Yasser Arafat's time," Dahlan told the German TV network Deutsche Villa. "The PA has become nothing more than a contractor to Israel's security forces."
Dahlan opined that the current terror wave and growing support for Hamas in the PA reflects, among other things, a youth rebellion against the "irrelevancy" of the PA.
The banished Fatah official denied, however, that he supported Hamas, and noted that the terror group "is not significantly different from the PA."
"They call for resistance, but do not participate with Jerusalem and Hevron for their rebellion against Israeli occupation," he explained. "They claim they do not hold negotiations with Israel, but of course they have indirect contacts with it, since Israel controls all border crossings into Gaza."
"There is no difference between direct contact and indirect contact with Israel," he added.
Dahlan is a former senior Fatah member and one of the most powerful men in the PA. Both Israel and the Palestinians have considered him a front-runner to succeed Abbas, who has talked time and time again of stepping down from his post.
Dahlan was commander of Preventive Security in Gaza until the Hamas coup in 2007, after which he lost his political power. Following a bitter dispute with Abbas, Dahlan was expelled from the PA, and is currently staying in the United Arab Emirates.
On Thursday, however, Dahlan denied he was looking to become the new PA chairman, throwing his support instead behind Barghouti.
Barghouti, 56, was sentenced to five life sentences in 2002 after being convicted of multiple murder and attempted murder charges in Fatah terror attacks.
He is considered a founder of "Tanzim," one of Fatah's armed terrorist factions, and has continued to exert great influence within the party even from prison.