Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Muhammed Dahlan
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Muhammed Dahlan (right). (photo credit:REUTERS)

A senior Egyptian intelligence official said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lacks “intelligence” and “does not want to do anything” in a leaked phone conversation with Muhammed Dahlan, Abbas’s primary rival.

The Turkey-based Mukmaleen network, which broadcasted the phone conversation on Sunday, identified the intelligence officer as Wael al-Safti, who is responsible for the Palestine file in the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate.’

Mukmaleen is considered critical of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime and has leaked unflattering tapes of the Egyptian president previously.

At the start of the phone conversation, Safti greets Dahlan and then remarks, “Undoubtedly there is a problem Abu Fadi (i.e. Muhammed Dahlan). I have noticed that his concentration is insufficient,” referring to President Abbas. “He has nothing to offer.”

Safti then says Abbas “acts like a camel,” suggesting the Palestinian president constantly parrots the same ideas, failing to bring new initiatives to the table.

The senior intelligence officer continued, stating that Abbas “is not intelligent at all in terms of how he acts,” adding, “He does not want to change. He does not want to do anything at all.”

“He is sitting and talking nonsense to the right and the left, while the situation is catching on fire. Nothing makes a difference for him.”

Safti then exclaims that Fatah and the PLO are in poor standing: “Fatah is deeply troubled and the PLO is even [more troubled],” before stating that Abbas has failed “to bring together” and “contain” the different PLO actions.

At the end of the phone conversation, Safti describes Abbas’s leadership as “stupidity.”

Following the leak of the phone conversation, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh al-Shukri did an interview with al-Youm al-Sabaa, in which he described a positive relationship between Egyptian President Sisi and President Abbas.

“I believe the last meeting between President Sisi and Abu Mazen in New York saw an intimate dialogue and mutual understating of the different issues,” Shukri said, stating further that Egypt does not plan to intervene in internal Palestinian affaris.

“Egypt has no intention to impose a vision on the PA or the Palestinian people. It is more worthwhile for the Palestinians to deal with Palestinian issues because they know their interests best.”

The Palestinian Authority has not issued an official response to the leaked phone conversation, but posted the Shukri interview on its official news site, Wafa.

Since fleeing the West Bank and being ousted from Fatah in 2011, Dahlan has cultivated close relationships with top Egyptian officials.  Reports surfaced recently that Egypt and other Arab states have been pressuring President Abbas to reinstate Dahlan in Fatah and allow him to return to Ramallah.

Nonetheless, Abbas has expressed no intention of allowing his main rival to return to Fatah or Ramallah.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post