Dahlan conference on Palestine's future set to begin
Palestinian political party Fatah has announced that it will reject any resolutions or plans passed at a conference on the "future of the Palestinian cause" due to be held in Egypt on Sunday.
The conference, which will be held at a five-star hotel near Suez, has been organised by controversial politician Mohammed Dahlan, Mahmoud Abbas' leadership rival, in partnership with Egyptian think-tank, the National Center for Middle East Studies (NCMES) and the Palestinian General Intelligence Service.
"[Fatah] totally reject what the NCMES is trying to do, and we consider it interference in our internal affairs," said Osama al-Qawasmi, a spokesperson for the ruling Palestinian party, Fatah.
"What makes this conference null and illegal is that we in the Fatah movement have not sanctioned anybody to speak on our behalf."
Qawasmi also said that any meetings which discuss the Palestinian issue and the rebuilding of the "Fatah" movement should be arranged through the movement's official frameworks.
The Coral Sea resort, where the conference will be held
Dahlan is a controversial character in Palestinian politics because of a large number of charges and allegations of corruption, torture and murder against him.
Some of these charges have been thrown out of court due to a lack of evidence.
Many believe that Dahlan has set up this conference in order to secure backing as the future leader of Fatah and president of Palestine. It is for this reason that a large number of Arab VIPs are expected to attend.
According to one of The New Arab's correspondents in Egypt, a number of high-profile Arab leaders and VIPs are expected to attend the event.
It will include the guest of honour Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, and Mustafa al-Faqi, foreign minister to former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
The Rafah-Gaza border opened today in order to allow more than a hundred politicians, academics and VIPs to travel from Gaza to the conference.
The conference is reportedly being held at the Coral Sea resort in Ain el-Sokhna, where luxury suites start from EGP1300 ($150) a night.
The conference has already been cancelled on one occasion in September due to pressure from Abbas, but it is expected that the conference will continue this time as planned from 16 to 18 October.