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Libyan opposition: Israel supplying weapons to Gadhafi regime via Fatah strongman Mohamed Dahlan

Fatah strongman Mohamed Dahlan

World Tribune; April 6, 2011

CAIRO — The Libyan opposition, amid its failure to topple Col. Moammar Gadhafi, has accused Israel of supplying weapons to the Tripoli regime.

The opposition has charged that Israeli weapons were being supplied to the Gadhafi regime through a senior Palestinian official. Libyan opposition member Omar Khadraoui identified the official as Mohammed Dahlan, former Palestinian Authority security chief and now a member of the Fatah Central Committee. The Libyan rebel said Dahlan was working with an unidentified Iraqi Kurd.

“Dahlan is behind a deal to supply internationally-forbidden weapons to Col. Gadhafi,” Khadraoui said.

In an interview with the Algerian daily Echorouk, Khadraoui did not identify the weapons purportedly ordered by Gadhafi. Khadraoui said Dahlan brought a ship loaded with Israeli weapons from Greece to Tripoli. The weapons were said to have been acquired from an unidentified Israeli supplier.

“Revolutionaries in Misrata seized a portion of those weapons,” Khadraoui said on April 2.

This marked the first time that Israel was linked to the Libyan rebellion, which began in February.

[Not the first time, actually. In late February, reports emerged that an Israeli security company, Global CST, was recruiting mercenaries to support Gadhafi’s counterrevolution.]

Over the last month, Libya has been under a naval blockade by NATO to prevent weapons from reaching Gadhafi or the rebels.

NATO has acknowledged allowing foreign ships that transported fuel and other non-combat equipment to arrive in Tripoli for the Gadhafi regime. In contrast, the Libyan rebel movement has accused NATO warships of blocking food supplies to the besieged city of Misrata.

Dahlan, long linked to weapons smuggling, has maintained ties to Israeli officials and executives. In late 2010, Dahlan left the West Bank for Jordan amid accusations that he was attempting to overthrow Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Dahlan has denied that he was supplying weapons to Gadhafi.

Fatah has announced an investigation of the Libyan rebel allegations against Dahlan. The movement’s Central Committee said Dahlan’s membership had been suspended and that he was under investigation on charges of corruption.

“The Central Committee emphasizes that it contravenes the principles of the movement and the interests of the Palestinian people and to ensure the hard non-interference in Arab affairs,” Fatah said in a statement on April 5.

In the interview, Khadraoui accused Gadhafi, who has frequently called for the destruction of the Jewish state, of maintaining links with Israel. The Libyan opposition member said Dahlan served as a liaison between Israel and the Libyan ruler.

“Col. Gadhafi pretends to be against Israel, but actually he has strong ties with it through Dahlan,” Khadraoui said.


Ex-Fatah official named in Libya arms deal

United Press International; April 6, 2011

RAMALLAH — Fatah is investigating reports that former Palestinian security chief Mohammed Dahlan supplied Israeli-made weapons to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

“The committee will take measures that suit the size of these allegations,” The Jerusalem Post quoted a Fatah spokesman saying. The spokesman noted the Fatah Central Committee had already suspended Dahlan’s membership because of “political and organizational trespasses.”

Rebel forces battling the Libyan leader said they seized Israeli arms smuggled into the country and named Dahlan a suspect, the Ma’an news agency reported Tuesday.

The Algerian newspaper Al-Shuruq, which first reported the affair, said Dahlan was one of a number of Palestinians “involved in a deal to supply weapons from Israel to Moammar Gadhafi,” the British weekly Middle East Monitor said.

Al-Shuruq, quoting Libyan dissident Omar el-Khadraoui, said a Greek ship transferred the weapons, the Monitor reported.

“The former leader of the Fatah movement, Mohammed Dahlan, and someone known as Muhammad Rashid, a Kurd from Iraq whose real name is Khalid Salam and who used to be an adviser to the late Yasser Arafat, are behind a deal to supply internationally proscribed weapons to Colonel Gadhafi who uses them to shell civilians in Misurata in western Libya,” the Monitor quoted a cable from el-Khadraoui as saying.

Dahlan denied the allegations, Ma’an said.

A Fatah Central Committee spokesman told the Palestinian agency it is against Fatah’s principles and the Palestinian people’s interests to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. The spokesman also said Salam is not a member of Fatah.


Fatah probes Dahlan and Rashid for supplying weapons to Gaddafi

Middle East Monitor (UK); April 7, 2011

Fatah’s Central Committee announced that it has begun investigating recent reports that two members of the movement’s leadership are involved in smuggling Israeli weapons into Libya to support Mu’ammar Gaddafi’s forces.

In a press release, the Committee stated that the allegations against the two contradict Fatah’s principles of non-interference in the affairs of other Arab states. Libyan opposition figures have alleged that Mohamed Dahlan, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, and Mohamed Rashid (Khaled Salam), a former economic consultant to former Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, are involved in smuggling illegal weapons to Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

The press release stated that Dahlan’s membership to the Central Committee had already been suspended as he is currently being probed over accusations of involvement in political and organizational violations. With regard to second individual; Khaled Salam, it was claimed that “He has no links whatsoever to the movement [Fatah]‘s organizational or national policies”.

Dahlan has denied the accusations that he was involved in the secret deal to supply Gaddafi’s brigades with weaponry supplied by an Israeli company and that he coordinated the deal arranging for a meeting between Seif El Islam Gaddafi and Israeli officials.


Who supplies Gaddafi with Israeli arms?

Press TV; April 6, 2011

Last week, Libyan revolutionary leaders accused troops loyal to embattled Gaddafi of using Israeli arms to target their own citizens.

They made the allegation after seizing Israeli-made rocket-propelled grenades abandoned by Gaddafi forces in the city of Misratah, some 150 km (95 miles) east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Libya’s Transitional National Council has linked the Israeli weapons cache to Fatah Central Committee members Mohammed Dahlan and Khalid Salam.

“This matter is under investigation,” DPA quoted Fatah spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh as saying on Wednesday.

He added that the Fatah Central Committee rejects such acts, because they oppose the movement’s policy of non-interference in the internal Arab affairs.

We “will take the necessary measures regarding these allegations,” Rudeineh stressed.

However, Fatah said that Dahlan was suspended from the Committee two months ago, following charges that he was plotting against acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas.

Dahlan, who is currently under investigation, has denied the charges.

Additionally, the Fatah movement said that it no longer has anything to do with Salam.

The Libyan revolution, inspired by the recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, was sparked nearly two months ago.

Brutal crackdowns by the Libyan regime on anti-government protesters soon turned into a full-scale war, leaving hundreds of people dead and tens of thousands of others homeless.

Backed by the United Nations, US, British, French, Canadian, Danish and Belgian warplanes joined the war on March 19, launching airstrikes on Libya.

The West claims that it is trying to stem Tripoli’s military offensives against revolutionary forces that now control a large portion of the country.

Critics, however, accuse the West of hypocrisy for the offensive on Libya, given their silence on brutal crackdowns on similar anti-regime movements elsewhere in the Arab world, such as in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

The rising civilian death toll in Libya has also set off a frenzy of speculations about the real motive behind the war in the country, with analysts saying that Washington and its Western allies are basically after the North African country’s vast oil reserves.


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