Sit-in at Palestinian mission in UK

Protest calling for reforms and reconciliation comes in reaction to the publication of leaked negotiation documents.

    Those involved in the London diplomatic mission takeover were demanding reforms in Palestinian institutions [EPA]

    A group of Palestinian students have staged a sit-in at the premises of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in London in protest against the Palestinian Authority (PA).
     
    The demonstration against the PA on Thursday came in reaction to the publication by Al Jazeera of hundreds of leaked documents relating to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations titled The Palestine Papers, our correspondent in London said.
     
    Those involved in the sit-in demanded reforms of Palestinian institutions, including the PA, and announced plans for a year-long campaign for holding direct elections to the Palestinian National Council.
     
    They called on all Palestinian factions to endorse the document for national reconciliation that was approved by the representatives of Palestinian prisoners in 2006, and to treat it as the basis for national reconciliation.

    Al Jazeera had been given unhindered access to the largest-ever leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are nearly 1,700 files, thousands of pages of diplomatic correspondence detailing the inner workings of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

    The material, voluminous and detailed, it provides an unprecedented look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level US, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials.

    PA condemnation

    However, the PA has condemned the release of the documents saying it has been the subject of a smear campaign.

    On Thursday, about 5,000 supporters of the the Palestinian leadership and the Fatah party of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, staged a rally in the West Bank town of Nablus.

    The demonstrators waved signs reading "Al Jazeera is Zionist" and "Al Jazeera and Israel are two sides of the same coin".

    Mahmud Shtayyeh, a leading member of Fatah party, addressed the crowd, accusing "the Zionist Al Jazeera" of a "conspiracy against the Palestinian people".

    Offices of the station in Nablus and Ramallah have been attacked since the documents were published by Al Jazeera.

    In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, Hamas supporters hanged effigies of Abbas and Palestinian Authority officials.

    Salah Bardawil, a Hamas legislator, told those gathered in Rafah that "those traitors and anyone who is thinking of compromising any of our rights" should be put on trial.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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