‘Criminal acts’ were cited as reasons behind the ouster of former Fatah strongman in Gaza Muhammad Dahlan from the party, a statement said Sunday.
According to Al-Jazeera, President Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of Fatah, has approved the decision of the committee.
Details remain scant on an investigation that is said to have lead to the decision, with party officials speaking anonymously to AFP early Sunday, while others publicly denied the report.
Fatah affiliates in Gaza, however, said in a statement that an emergency meeting had been called for Monday to "discuss the consequences of the decision of the central committee of freezing the membership of Mohammad Dahlan."
That statement was issued hours ahead of a Central Committee brief that announced with few details the dismissal of the official of the party.
In a report published Sunday morning, AFP cited a member of the Fatah Central Committee, who spoke out about the case for the first time, after almost a year of silence and party officials refusing to speak on record, insisting publicly that the issue was an internal matter, and would be referred to the courts when appropriate.
Attorney General Ahmad Al-Mughni said his office had received no suits against Dahlan, casting doubt on the claims of an anonymous official from within the party who told AFP that "The central committee decided to transfer Dahlan’s file, which includes corruption and crimes mentioned in the inquiry commission’s report… to the appropriate authorities."
The attorney general said Sunday evening that "until this moment I have not received anything, I know about this issue only from the media and I am looking into the allegations."
Fatah members in Gaza say conditions "unbearable"
Even before the announcement came from Ramallah confirming the rumor Dahlan had been ousted, a number of the Gaza members of the party’s second highest governing body the Revolutionary Council told Ma’an that "the situation in Gaza unbearable, there is wide anger among its affiliates and supporters not because of the Dahlan stances but because the body has been kept ignorant of the issue."
One member accused the Central Committee of "working to sever themselves and their interests from the movement," and called the move "irresponsible."
Speaking with Ma’an Sunday afternoon Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Alul said "the central committee has the right to dismiss any of its members without [handing the issue down] to the revolutionary council," he said commenting on internal party procedure, and insisted that the discussion over charges against the official had no affect on the unity of the movement.
The official at the time had refused to confirm reports of Dahlan’s dismissal, saying only the issue was "being studied, it has not been decided yet.
"An investigations committee was formed and met with Dahlan once, and designated a second committee to carry out an investigation and present a full list of charges," he said.
"Any defendant who does not attend his trial can be judged in absentia," Al-Alul noted.
Earlier in the day, Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muheisin also denied reports that the movement had ousted Dahlan.