High ranking Palestinian sources expressed Monday to Deutsche Presse-Agenturdpa 'deep disappointment' with the visit on Sunday of German Chancellor AngelaMerkel to Ramallah and her meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The visit 'has shattered the boundaries of courtesy and civility of aranking official and leader of country as big and influential as Germany whenMrs. Merkel did everything to aggravate the feelings of the Palestinian peopleand showed indifference to their suffering while she went overboard in showingher feelings toward Israel, which occupies the land and assaults the people ofPalestine.'
The sources said Merkel refused to meet any of the Palestinian cabinetmembers, 'which is a blatant contradiction with the decision of the EuropeanUnion that allowed meetings with ministers of the Palestinian national unitygovernment.'
She also cancelled a scheduled meeting with representatives of civil societywithout giving any reason, they said.
The sources also expressed dismay when Merkel concentrated in her meetingwith Abbas on the case of the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, which theydescribed as 'unprecedented,' while 'she did not show enough interest in theimportant issues of the peace process or Israeli measures that turn Palestinianlife into hell.'
They said Merkel 'did not even say a word about the fate of 12,000Palestinian prisoners, who include children, women, elderly and sick.'
While the German chancellor has visited families of three captive Israelisoldiers, said the sources, she refused to meet any family member ofPalestinian prisoners or answer a question in the press conference with Abbasabout her position on the Palestinian prisoners' issue.
Merkel's visit, said the sources, 'showed bias and discrimination right fromthe beginning when she refused to meet President Abbas in Bethlehem to see thewall Israel is building and which turns Palestinian land into isolated areasbecause it would remind Mrs. Merkel of the Berlin Wall when she lived in theeastern section of the city and worked as secretary for the East German primeminister.'
The sources said Merkel has also refused to meet heads of churches in
The sources also denounced Merkel for accepting an honorary doctorate degreefrom
The ranking sources said the visit 'raises questions of whether such abiased policy could play a role in reviving the peace process or be an honestbroker and fair mediator.'
They wondered if 'the Palestinian people have to once again pay and sufferbecause of crimes committed against Jews in