Rioters turn their fury on Al Jazeera
Tuesday 25 January 2011
Demonstrators daubed "Israeli spies" in paint on the offices of Al Jazeera yesterday, smashing windows and security cameras in protest at the leaked revelations by the Qatar-based broadcaster.
Within hours of the documents being made public, more than 200 protesters gathered outside the broadcaster's Ramallah office.
Palestinian officials accused the channel of peddling half-truths – but the anger on the street was largely directed at a Palestinian leadership that many accused of betrayal.
"They have no right to compromise over Jerusalem, not an inch of it," Othman Barghouti, a retired teacher, said yesterday in Ramallah, where the Palestinian authority is based.
For some, a willingness to relinquish even a part of the Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem, which Palestinians covet as the capital of a future state, was a betrayal.
"I don't expect this from my people, the people who govern me. He [Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas] is selling out Palestine," said Hamed, a 20-year-old butcher. "You cannot negotiate when your people are weak."
The documents, a trove of some 1,600 diplomatic communiqués and minutes, reveal just how far the Palestinians are willing to go in private talks on some of the most divisive issues, including the particularly sensitive issue of occupied East Jerusalem.
The main disclosure is that the Palestinians agreed to allow Israel to annex all the Jewish settlements built in occupied East Jerusalem apart from Har Homa, one of the newer settlements. No agreement was ever signed, as Ehud Olmert, the then prime minister, was forced out over corruption charges.
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