JERUSALEM 

Washington may support exiled former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan to unseat Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to a top US official.

“We’re thinking about it, but we have no desire to engineer the Palestinian leadership,” David Friedman, US envoy to Israel, said in an interview published by the Israel Hayom newspaper on Thursday.

The report said there are elements within the US administration in favor of supporting Dahlan to overthrow Abbas as Palestine’s president.

Dahlan is a controversial figure harbored by the UAE as he faces legal cases from both Palestine and Turkey on several charges, including murder, corruption, and involvement in the defeated 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

The US ambassador also hinted at Israel moving forward with its plan to illegally annex more Palestinian territory.

“I think it will happen,” said Friedman.

He also attacked the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority for “clutching to very old and irrelevant complaints.”

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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