311_ Abed Rabbo, Abbas and Erekat.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo attacked Al-Jazeera Monday, in response to Palestinian negotiation documents released by the news agency late Sunday.
"In the past they expressed doubts over the views of former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, just as they do now on the position of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas," Abed Rabbo said during a press conference in Ramallah. The
comments came a day after Al-Jazeera began a three-day release of the
largest-ever immediate publication of confidential documents relating to
the last 11 years of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
'Palileaks': PA agreed to Israeli annexation of J'lem areas
The PLO official said "we did not agree to any proposal regarding east Jerusalem. The only position to which we adhere is Abbas' position that east Jerusalem, according to the 67 borders, belongs to us."
"Al-Jazeera decided that it would attack the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to harm it. All that is being said in the documents on the land swap deal is not true on a ratio of 1:50," he continued.
Abed Rabbo said we "understand that our communication must be transparent," and that when dealing with the media "we must be professional and neutral."
He also noted that the talks between Israel and the Palestinians were among the most transparent in modern history. He also called for a committee to be established that would check the papers' veracity.
Also Monday, Palestinian
Legislative Council official Mustafa Barghouti said that
Israelis don't want a two-state solution, according to The Guardian's news blog on 'The Palestine Papers.'
of how flexible the negotiators are and how many concessions are
offered, it makes no difference because Israel does not want a two state
solution. All this flexibility is in vain," he was quoted as saying.
whole approach has to be changed. What we need today is a unified
leadership with a strategy that takes into consideration nothing will
change unless the balance of power changes," Barghouti lamented.
statements came a day after a senior Palestinian Authority official in
Ramallah strongly condemned Al- Jazeera for releasing releasing the
“Al-Jazeera has declared war on the Palestinians,” the official told The Jerusalem Post. “This station serves the interests of the enemies of the Palestinians.”
if the PA was now considering measures against Al-Jazeera, the official
said he did not see how a TV station that “incites” against the
Palestinians would be able to continue operating in the West Bank.
However, he said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently in
Cairo, would decide on the PA’s response to the exposure of the
documents in the coming hours.
PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat emphatically denied that the PA had agreed to make far-reaching concessions on Jerusalem.
In his first response to the revelations, Abbas said he did not know how the TV network had obtained secret documents.
don’t hide anything from our Arab brothers,” Abbas told editors of
Egyptian newspapers in Cairo. “We have been briefing our Arab brothers
about all our activities with the Israelis and Americans.”
Erekat criticized Al-Jazeera for reporting on the documents.
is a theater,” he said. “This is part of a campaign targeting President
Mahmoud Abbas and the PA at a time when we are going to the UN Security
Council regarding the settlements.”
Erekat confirmed, however, that the Palestinians and Israelis had talked about land swaps in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
we talked about land swaps,” he told Al-Jazeera. “Olmert presented us
with a map about the land swap. The swap is part of international law.”
said that Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, had refused to
make far-reaching territorial concessions to Israel in Jerusalem.
“East Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state,” he asserted.
“All of east Jerusalem.”
also strongly denied that former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei (Abu
Ala) had agreed to give up parts of east Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah
neighborhood to Israel. He also denied that the PA had voiced opposition
to giving Jordan any role in east Jerusalem.
“We are now facing a
battle with [Prime Minister] Binyamin Netanyahu, and we are facing
threats and pressures,” Erekat complained.
“I don’t know where these documents came from, and I would like to know who gave them to Al-Jazeera.”
also denied that the PA had agreed to recognize Israel as a Jewish
state. He said that when asked by Israel to accept this demand, he
replied that it was tantamount to asking a Palestinian to join the
Meanwhile, Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the
London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, responded angrily, “Who gave
the PLO the right to make concessions on Jerusalem? The PLO does not
represent the Palestinians.”
Atwan said it was outrageous that
four Palestinian officials were negotiating on behalf of all
Palestinians and making concessions without being authorized to do so.
He named the officials as Erekat, current PA Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad, Abbas and Yasser Abed Rabbo.