Abbas smiling 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
The Palestinian Authority on Monday accused Al-Jazeera of “fabrications,” while
the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank called for a boycott of the
Qatari-owned TV network.
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The attacks on Al-Jazeera came after the network
revealed documents that showed PA negotiators had offered far-reaching
territorial concessions in Jerusalem.
Fatah activists who demonstrated in
the center of Ramallah tried to storm the offices of Al-Jazeera, but were pushed
back by PA policemen.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently in
Cairo, accused Al- Jazeera of deliberately misleading viewers by mixing up
Israeli proposals with Palestinian positions.
“This is shameful,” Abbas
said after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. “These documents are
designed to create confusion. I saw them [Al-Jazeera] broadcast things that they
attributed to Palestinians.
In fact, these were Israeli
Abbas stressed that the PA leadership had no secrets to
“All the Arab countries know our position,” he said. “We have been
providing the Arab countries with details about the negotiations and all that we
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top PLO official closely associated
with Abbas, accused Al-Jazeera of taking sentences out of context.
goal behind the publication of these documents, which are known to all our
people, is to distort the Palestinian position at a time when the Palestinian
leadership is leading a conflict with the occupation in various international
forums,” he said.
Abed Rabbo also accused Al-Jazeera of waging a
well-organized campaign to distort the image of the Palestinians, and charged
that this coincided with another campaign being waged by Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to discredit the PA leadership
and convince ordinary Palestinians that their representatives don’t care about
their interests. In addition, Abed Rabbo alleged that the campaigns targeted
Abbas personally because of his refusal to negotiate with Israel while
construction was continuing in the settlements.
Abed Rabbo added that
“junior employees” working for the PA had been responsible for leaking the
documents in return for money. “Their identity is known to the Palestinian
Authority,” he said, denying reports of the involvement of a senior Palestinian
He also called for the establishment of a commission of inquiry
to investigate the authenticity of the leaked documents, and attacked the emir
of Qatar, urging him to reveal the “truth” about his country’s ties with Israel
PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki accused Al-Jazeera of serving
Israeli interests by publishing the secret documents. He, too, claimed that the
allegations were fabricated and aimed at driving a wedge between the PA
leadership and the Palestinian people.
Former PA prime minister Ahmed
Qurei, whose name appeared in the leaked documents as one aof the negotiators
who had offered to cede control of most of east Jerusalem to Israel, called for
an emergency meeting of the PA leadership and the Arab League to discuss
Al-Jazeera’s “fabrications” and “false accusations.”
A Fatah spokesman
accused the network of trying to politically assassinate Abbas and vowed to foil
The spokesman claimed that the documents leaked to
Al-Jazeera were forgeries.
The Fatah faction urged Palestinians to
boycott Al-Jazeera, warning that anyone who violates the call would be punished.
Adnan Dmairi, a spokesman for the Fatah-dominated security forces in the West
Bank, accused Al-Jazeera of plotting with Israel to pressure the Palestinian
leadership and “help Avigdor Lieberman.”
The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news
agency joined the chorus. Its editor, Nasser Lahham, defended PA leaders and
said that Israel and the US were benefiting from Al-Jazeera’s
“Al-Jazeera is slaughtering us every day,” Lahham said. “Any
Arab watching Al-Jazeera gets the impression that a majority of the Palestinians
are slaves and servants for the occupation and there isn’t one revolutionary