Dubai: Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat yesterday accused Al Jazeera tele-vision of participating in a campaign aimed at overthrowing the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
The accusations come two days after the Doha-based 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 the press, Erekat accused Al Jazeera of trying to provoke the Palestinian people into "a revolution against their leaders in order to bring down the Palestinian political system."
He said the US and Israel were leading a campaign aimed at overthrowing the PNA because it was refusing to engage in peace negotiations while colony activity continued and it was attempting to lobby the UN Security Council for state recognition.
In part two of the Palestine Papers aired late Monday on Al Jazeera, it was revealed that Erekat referred to refugee rights as a "bargaining chip", and that he privately ruled out putting any final agreement to a referendum that would include Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
Erekat responded to the publication of the leaks by stating that "any proposed agreement would have to gain popular support through a national referendum. No agreement will be signed without the approval of the Palestinian people." However, the documents reveal him telling Israelis, "I never said the diaspora will vote. It's not going to happen."
Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar urged Palestinian refugees worldwide to protest.