Turkey to offer bounty for exiled Palestinian Dahlan

Istanbul: Turkey said Friday it would offer four million lira ($700,000) for information leading to the capture of former Palestinian strongman Mohammad Dahlan, now exiled in the United Arab Emirates.

Turkey accuses Dahlan of being a mercenary for the UAE and involved in the 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told the Hurriyet newspaper that Dahlan would be placed on the most-wanted terrorists list.

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Dahlan became a fierce rival of his former ally in the Palestinian Fatah party, Mahmud Abbas, before fleeing into exile.

Turkish media regularly accuse Dahlan of involvement in the 2016 abortive coup, and recently of playing a role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul last year.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last month accused the UAE of harbouring a terrorist: “(Dahlan) fled to you because he is an agent of Israel,” he told Al Jazeera.

Cavusoglu further charged the UAE, which has tense relations with Turkey, with trying to replace Abbas with Dahlan.

Dahlan responded vehemently, accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of supporting “terrorist groups” in Syria, stealing gold from the Libyan central bank and “acting as if he were commander of the faithful,” in an interview with a Saudi broadcaster.

Dahlan, 58, was 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.

He was head of internal security in Gaza, but fell from favour after his forces were overpowered by Hamas in 2007, leading to Fatah’s expulsion from the territory.

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