Friday, January 28, 2011

The Palestinian Authority to release documents critical of Qatar

IMRA Middle East News Updates

The Palestinian Authority to release documents critical of Qatar
By Kifah Zaboun and Salah Al Naimi

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat – Senior Palestinian sources have informed Asharq
Al-Awsat that the Palestinian Authority is in possession of important
documents that condemn Qatar with regards to numerous issues relating to the
Palestinian – Israeli negotiations.

The source, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity,
refused to give the precise details of these documents, describing them only
as being "grave." The source also revealed that Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas has prevented these documents from being published quickly, as
some Palestinian officials wanted, in response to the "Palestine papers"
leaked by the Qatari Al Jazeera channel. The Palestinian Authorities relations with Qatari are at their lowest ebb,
and in Ramallah pictures of Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifah Al Thani
were set on fire by protestors, in an indication that the Palestinian people
are holding Qatar and its Emir responsible for the Al Jazeera leaks.

Due to the increased tensions between Qatar and the Palestinian Authority,
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is said to be reluctant to visit Qatar
next month to attend the International Jerusalem Conference that is being
held by the Arab League. However a senior Palestinian Authority source
informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Abbas will "most likely" attend the
International Jerusalem Conference, which is scheduled to take place between
2 – 3 February in Doha.

Al Jazeera continue to publish leaked documents relating to the Israeli –
Palestinian negotiations, with the latest information accusing the
Palestinian Authority of being responsible for the death of resistance
fighters in the Gaza Strip.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Al Jazeera of attempting to
incite sedition in the Palestinian territories, and he informed Asharq
Al-Awsat that "they are opening the doors to personal and family [revenge]
feuds" adding that the documents being leaked represent "one deception after

In response to allegations that former Palestinian Authority Interior
Minister Nasser Yousef had been asked by former Israeli Defense Minister
Shaul Mofaz to arrange for the assassination of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
commander Hassan al-Madhoun, Erekat told Asharq Al-Awsat that "Nasser Yousef
has nothing to do with security today."

Although the leaked Al Jazeera documents show Yousef refusing to aid Israel
in this endeavor, al-Madoun was later killed by an Israeli air strike.
Nasser Yousef has denied what was published by Al-Jazeera, describing this
as being "explicit lies and cheap fabrication", and has presented the Qatari
media outlet with the official documents with regards to what happened.
Yousef also vowed to sue Al Jazeera for causing harm to the Palestinian

This document is one of the most dangerous of the documents published by Al
Jazeera, as it arguably shows Palestinian officials being complicit in the
deaths of Palestinian citizens, opening the door for revenge attacks.

Yousef said "I had nothing to do with the information side of things during
my 10 months as Minister of Interior in 2005, so how can Al Jazeera simply
accuse me of being involved in the death of a Palestinian in this manner
[based upon a hand-written note]. The Israelis refused to deal with me, and
that includes former Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, and there were
clear instructions from [Ariel] Sharon to do so."

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