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Abbas Prohibits PA Officials from Criticizing Qatari Government

Weeks after launching an anti-Qatar public-relations campaign, President Mahmoud Abbas has issued an order “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.”

Abbas had originally initiated the campaign in response to Qatar-funded Al Jazeera’s coverage of the “Palestinian Papers” leak, which many PA leaders criticized as biased:

Abbas ordered to only focus on the Qatar-based Aljazeera television and its accusations against the Palestinian Authority and not on the Emir of Qatar, saying that the PA has good relations with Arab countries and does not want to do anything to damage this relationship.

The decision comes after Palestinian officials strongly criticized al-Jazeera for its reporting on documents leaked from the Negotiations Affairs Department. Some officials charged the government of Qatar of being behind al-Jazeera campaign against the PA.

PA officials had claimed that the leak of the papers was a plot by the pro-Hamas Qatari government and accused the country of funding Israeli settlements. Abbas may be attempting to mend ties with Qatar, which the U.S. has recently asked to send financial aid to the PA.



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