Gazans enraged by reported secret deals between Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel have burned effigies of acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas and his senior aides.
Thousands of Palestinians held a demonstration in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah on Wednesday, where the effigies of the Western-backed PA figures and coffins, draped with Israeli flags, were burned, Lebanon’s The Daily Star reported.
Those gangs are not representing the Palestinian people, senior Hamas official, Atallah Abu al-Suboh, told the angry protesters.
“Palestinians all over should take them away,” he urged.
“No one has the right to compromise. No one has the right to give up our legitimate rights and principles.”
On Sunday, some 1,600-page pages of secret “Palestine Papers” were published, letting bare the true nature of more than 10 years of secret US-backed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority between 2000 and 2010.
According to the document, PA leaders were prepared to compromise on key issues at the heart of the six-decade Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the right of return for Palestinian refugees and the status of illegally annexed al-Quds (Jerusalem), which Palestinians deem as the capital of their future state.
The documents drew wrath among Palestinians who blame the Ramallah-based leaders for privately preparing to compromise their principles while publicly presenting different positions.
On Tuesday, Abbas downplayed the leak of hundreds of secret files on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as nothing but a “boring soap opera.”
The Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, also said the leaks had put his life in danger. He accused al-Jazeera news channel of misrepresenting quotes and making up others in its coverage of “The Palestine Papers.”
But in an interview with the state-run BBC, Erekat admitted that some of the materials were true. He had initially dismissed it as a “pack of lies.”