RAMALLAH, Palestinian territories – An audio recording has surfaced in which Mahmoud Abbas' top aide is heard saying the Palestinian leader isn't tough in dealing with Israel and has let himself be humiliated.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday the recording was spliced together from different speeches, with words taken out of context, and that he is the target of a smear campaign.
Abbas' office had no comment.
It is not clear if there will be political fallout. Previously, Abbas exiled a top aide who criticized him.
The recording was posted on a Palestinian website Wednesday. It lasts three-and-a-half minutes, with a beep or jump at four points.
Erekat is heard saying Abbas' approach is "useless," but that the Palestinian leader "wouldn't listen" to advice to try to brand Israel's premier a war criminal.