NEW YORK (JTA) — A longtime Fatah leader says the organization has never recognized Israel’s right to exist.
Mohammed Dahlan, the former Fatah security commander, made the remarks during an interview with a Palestinian Authority-controlled television station.
Dahlan was responding to a question about Fatah’s reported insistence that Hamas recognize Israel’s right to exist as a precondition for the establishment of a Palestinian "unity government," according to The Jerusalem Post.
Dahlan, who was recently tapped to serve as an adviser to Fatah’s leader, P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, acknowledged that the PLO — an umbrella organization of Palestinian groups that has been headed by Fatah’s leader — did recognize Israel.
"We acknowledge that the PLO did recognize Israel’s right to exist, but we are not bound by it as a resistance faction," he said.
Dahlan hails from the Gaza Strip, where Fatah is in an uphill battle to wrest political control and popular support away from Hamas.