Ex-Fatah leader says US complicit in ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Palestinians in Gaza
LONDON: Ex-Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan has condemned the US as complicit in the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians in Gaza during an interview with Hadley Gamble for TIME magazine.
He also blamed the White House and the administration of President Joe Biden for a failure to demand a ceasefire and said history would judge the US as having escalated the conflict.
“(Biden) is a participant in the war, he gave (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu the license to kill children,” he said.
“Today, he and his secretary of state gave permission to Netanyahu to storm Al-Shifa Hospital as it was a headquarter. What headquarter?
“They think that Hamas is like the Central Command of the US Army, that they have a leadership and are sitting under a hospital. It was the US that gave the green light to this crime,” he added.
In a clip released on X by Gamble on Sunday, Dahlan also accused Secretary of State Antony Blinken of turning the war in Gaza into a religious conflict.
“When we see the US secretary of state standing up to say ‘I came here, not as the American secretary of state, but as a Jew,’ are you calling for (Osama) bin Laden and his likes to stand up and say, ‘We are with the Muslims’ and turn this conflict from a national conflict to a religious one?”
He continued: “Do Americans like this? No. The US administration is a full partner in this crime.”
Dahlan said leaders in European countries, including France and the UK, were also partners “in varying degrees” for not acting against Israeli actions in Gaza.
In the full interview, the former Fatah leader, who was ousted in the 2006 elections in Gaza, told Gamble that Israel’s extensive bombardment was breeding the next generation of Palestinian militants. He said its actions in Gaza were potentially condemning Israeli citizens to long-lasting insecurity.
Speaking about Israeli military figures “boasting” about victories over buildings and taking revenge against Palestinian civilians, he asked: “If Israel, a stable country, is considering revenge, what do you expect from children now in Al-Shifa Hospital when they grow up?”
When Dahlan was asked by Gamble if he condemned Hamas for the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, he said Palestinians were not “warmongers” and that they would defend themselves “bravely” to the end.
“We are not the ones calling for killing others, but if others come to kill us, we have the right to defend ourselves,” he said.
Dahlan said any successful peace between Israel and Arab neighbors was wholly reliant on a satisfactory resolution to the plight of Palestinians.
“No peace can succeed with any Arab country without Palestinian rights. This is the result of Oct. 7 and earlier. We understood that, but others were not interested in it,” he said.
“I believe if Israel makes peace with the whole world and does not make peace with the Palestinian people, it will not have security … It will not achieve stability. It will not obtain it.
“They will not find the Palestinian people giving in to their will. Rather, we will enter a continuous cycle of resistance that has no end,” he added.
Dahlan was asked if Hamas’ attack was worth it given how many Palestinians were suffering in the Israeli retaliation as a result, to which he responded by telling Gamble she had never experienced living under occupation.
He predicted that more resistance would come from Palestinians living in the West Bank.
“Occupation destroys you from within, it means you cannot read freely, it makes you cannot go to university freely, it means you cannot marry if one of you lives in Gaza and the other lives in the West Bank, it means many you things that you don’t know, we know it and have lived it,” he said.
“This conflagration is but the natural result of that, the next conflagration will happen in the West Bank,” he added.