News / Middle East

Abbas Defiant After 'Palestine Papers' Release

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center, gestures during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah, 25 Jan 2011
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center, gestures during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah, 25 Jan 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been welcomed by supporters in the West Bank, in his first trip home since the Al Jazeera television channel released documents alleging he offered concessions in peace talks with Israelis.

Thousands of chanting supporters rallied at his headquarters in Ramallah Tuesday. Mr. Abbas said their rally was a positive response to the Al Jazeera documents, which he claimed were fake. He insists his peace overtures are on the "right path."

His comments came after a second cache of documents released by the television channel quotes Mr. Abbas as saying it would be "illogical" to ask Israel to absorb five million refugees as part of a final peace deal.

The documents appear to contradict the Palestinians' public position that all refugees from the 1948-to-1949 war and their descendants have the right to return to Israel.

The leaked files alleged that Mr. Abbas privately acknowledged the return of even one million refugees would mean "the end of Israel" and does not seem practical.

Palestinian negotiators are said in the documents to have requested that Israel allow the return of 10,000 refugees a year for 10 years – a total of 100,000.

At another point, Palestinian negotiators were said to have agreed that only a token number of refugees – just 10,000 – should return to Israel.

Israeli leaders say a mass resettlement is out of the question because it would undermine the state's Jewish majority.

A top aide to Mr. Abbas Monday accused the Persian Gulf state of Qatar – where Al Jazeera is based – of consciously seeking to damage Palestinian interests. He said the report released by the Doha-based Arab satellite channel relies on out-of-context quotes, insinuations and outright fabrications.

Yasser Abed Rabbo said Qatar's emir gave "a green light" for a political campaign against the West Bank Palestinian leadership. Qatar has close ties to Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip. Hamas says the documents show that it is the true leader of Palestinians and has called the documents' revelations a betrayal.

The Qatari government bankrolled Al Jazeera when it launched in 1996 and is believed to still fund the station.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said negotiations with Israel included discussion of some ideas that the Palestinians "could never agree to." He added that "no agreement will be signed without the approval of the Palestinian people."

Confidential documents obtained by Al Jazeera allege that Palestinian negotiators secretly offered concessions, including an agreement to cede almost all of occupied East Jerusalem to Israel.

Mr. Abbas said Monday that the proposal – which Al Jazeera reported to be from the Palestinian side – was actually an Israeli position.

The leaked transcript of a June 2008 meeting between Palestinian, U.S. and Israeli officials said chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei proposed that Israel keep all but one of the major settlements it built in East Jerusalem after capturing that part of the city during the 1967 Middle East war.

The nearly 1,700 files cover an 11-year period from 1999 to 2010 and have been described by Al Jazeera as the largest leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Al Jazeera has shared the documents with Britain's The Guardian newspaper, which says it has verified most of them.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid