Abbas smiling 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has issued an order banning Palestinians from criticizing the ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
The decision came after some PA and Fatah representatives attacked the emir of Qatar, holding him responsible for the publication of the “Palestine Papers” that were stolen from the PLO’s Negotiations Department.
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The classified documents, which detail the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, were revealed by the Qataribased Al-Jazeera TV network.
In response to the revelations, Palestinian demonstrators in Ramallah burned portraits of the emir and accused him of being a US and Israeli “agent.”
A number of PA-affiliated journalists and editors also launched a scathing attack on the Qatari emir and Al-Jazeera, accusing them of seeking to bring down the PA leadership in the West Bank.
Abbas’s order is seen as an attempt to prevent a further deterioration in relations between the PA and Qatar, which has been providing financial aid to many Palestinian institutions.
Abbas said that his decision was taken out of “keenness to preserve good relations with all Arab countries.” He added that the response to the Al-Jazeera revelation should be focused only on “refuting the claims and lies” of the station.