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Abbas halts media attack on Qatar after three-week campaign

February 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

The Palestinian Authority President has called a halt to an aggressive PR attack that was launched against the State of Qatar three weeks ago. Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree “prohibiting the official media and spokespersons of the PLO, Palestinian National Authority and Fatah Movement from abusing the Qatari Prince [Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani] and the Qatari government”. The PA had launched the media offensive in the wake of the publication of the so-called “Palestine Papers” by Doha-based Al Jazeera Television and Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

According to the decree, any response to the leaked documents must now be limited to “refuting allegations and lies” where it is justified by “the PA’s desire to maintain good relations with all Arab countries”.

The documents exposed the significant concessions made by the PA’s negotiators to their Israeli counterparts on matters of national concern to the people of Palestine, such as the right of refugees to return to their land and the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Since the publication of the leaks, the Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, has resigned from his position.