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Erekat qatar holds investments in settlements

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(source: Ma’an News Agency)

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat threatened Monday to expose official documents about investments he said proved that Qatar holds in companies that operate in illegal Israeli West Bank settlements.  More than 24% of the biggest Israeli companies in the Qarne Shomron settlement, located in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya, rely on Qatari investments worth millions of US dollars, said Erekat. “The time will come in future to reveal these documents,” he threatened.

The statement was the latest in a series of accusations targeting the Emir of Qatar Shaykh Hamadi bin Khalifa Ath-Thani, who was singled out for attacks in the wake of a series of aired documentaries on Al-Jazeera, which publicized in Arabic highlights from a set of 1,600 leaked documents from over 10 years of talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials.

The emir had earlier requested the release of Hamas officials from West Bank prisons, and his position as leader of Qatar, where Al-Jazeera is based, saw him accused of using the papers to push a political agenda.

Erekat’s remarks came during a political panel hosted at An-Najah National University in Nablus set up for discussion of the “repercussions of the media campaign on the Palestinian national project.”

Ma’an News Agency’s Editor-in-chief of Nasser Lahham, president of An-Najah University Rami Hamdallah, and director of the PA’s ministry ofinformation’s Nablus office Majid Kittana participated in the panel.

During his speech, Erekat reiterated earlier statements that the PA would officially complain to the International Federation of Journalists, saying that the complaint would be submitted in the following two weeks. The complaint would not “oppose scoops or getting information, but [stress that media] should avoid distortion,” he said.

Erekat said Al-Jazeera, which had teemed up with The Guardian to releasethe documents, perpetrated a “huge and unprecedented” attack on the PA and PLO in its coverage of the documents.