Former Palestinian Minister and a Fatah leader, Mohammad Dahalan, said the Makkah unity government deal last Thursday, will be scrutinized thoroughly.

In an interview with the London-based Alhayat Arabic newspaper, Dahalan was quoted as saying “the future relation with Hamas as well as the Makkah deal will be judged by Hamas’s behavior on the ground, as Hamas has recently waged a large-scale incitement against Fatah and its cadres”.

Dahalan added “I wonder as to how Hamas will be convincing its members of partnership with Fatah, while those who celebrated the Makkah agreement were Fatah supporters. Therefore we have to wait and see how Hamas will be acting”.

The Palestinian official, who attended the deal, stressed that Fatah’s fight with Hamas has merely been in self-defense against Hamas members who carried weapons and committed killings.

Dahalan believed that the security unrest will come to an end amidst agreed security arrangements, which will prevent a recurrence of clashes and uncover those who breach the unity deal.

Reagrding the Palestinian security bodies, the Fatah leader emphasized that Hamas has never been in control of the security forces for it has always rejected the Oslo peace accords. President Mahmoud Abbas has announced he would integrate the Hamas-formed executive force into the security establishment.

Questioned whether he is presenting himself as an alternative for other Fatah leaders, Dahalan denied he has ever done so and stated that he is acting within the directions of President Abbas.

In this respect he made clear “I have been assigned by President Abbas to reform the security bodies on national and professional basis”.

Concerning his ties with the American administration, the former preventive security chief said that he has not been to the States since he joined late President Yasser Arafat in Washington during the Camp David talks in 2000.

As for the alleged American financial assistance to Palestinian security bodies, Dahalan asserted that such assistance is a part of the US obligations towards the Palestinian people in accordance with the Road Map peace blueprint, and will be allocated for the purchase of telecommunication equipment, vehicles and clothes.

Rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, agreed in the Saudi Arabian city of Makkah last Thursday to a power-sharing deal, after internecine gun battles claimed lives of more 32 Palestinians and wounded hundreds others in what has been considered the fiercest in recent months.

Both Hamas and Fatah traded accusations on responsibility for the outbreak of infighting as Hamas named Dahalan ‘the chief of the coup against a Hamas-led government.’