Al-Jazeera leaks part of plot to topple PA: Erakat

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat on Tuesday accused Al-Jazeera television of participating in a campaign aimed at overthrowing the Palestinian Authority.
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Updated on Jan 25, 2011 11:20 PM IST
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AFP | By, Ramallah

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat on Tuesday accused Al-Jazeera television of participating in a campaign aimed at overthrowing the Palestinian Authority.

His accusations were made two days after the Doha-based satellite channel began releasing more than 1,600 documents known as "The Palestine Papers."

The files expose some of the concessions offered to Israel during 10 years of secret peace talks and have embarrassed and angered the Palestinian leadership.

Speaking to AFP, Erakat accused Al-Jazeera of trying provoke the Palestinian people into "a revolution against their leaders in order to bring down the Palestinian political system."

He also attacked the channel for participating in what he suggested was a US-Israeli "campaign" aimed at "overthrowing the Palestinian Authority because it is refusing to engage in (peace) negotiations while settlement activity continues and because it insists on going to the (UN) Security Council."

Labelling the leaks "despicable incitement," Erakat accused the channel of "implementing a plan on behalf of (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu and (Foreign Minister Avigdor) Lieberman," aimed at sabotaging Palestinian attempts to secure their promised state through diplomatic offensives.

"We are at a stage of unprecedented resistance and we're being made to pay the price for this," he said, as the Palestinians pursue plans to seek a UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement activity.

Erakat, who appears frequently in the leaked files, accused Al-Jazeera of being "selective" about the documents it revealed.

"We notice that what was published, even on Jerusalem and the refugees, was only two pages."

He also said the Palestinian leadership had set up a probe to look into how the documents were obtained.

On Sunday, Erakat rejected the report as a "pack of lies" and said much of the information had been taken out of context.

A day later, a senior aide to president Mahmud Abbas accused the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani of being behind the leaks.

Yasser Abed Rabbo said the ruler had given his "green light" to a "campaign" against the Palestinian Authority.

Erakat said today that Al-Jazeera was engaged in a campaign of incitement, which had prompted a wave of protest across the Arab world.

"Al-Jazeera has set alight the situation in Tunisia and Lebanon and various other Arab countries," he charged, saying they were trying to do the same in the Palestinian territories.

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