Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
rejected on Thursday accusations that he was involved in an alleged Israeli plot to poison deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
The accusations were made by Farouk Kaddoumi, a senior leader both in Abbas and Arafat's Fatah faction and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Speaking to the Al Jazeera television network from Jordan, Kaddoumi also said that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
and Mohammed Dahlan, the former Palestinian security chief in Gaza, were also involved in the plot.
"Kaddoumi claims to be in possession of five-year-old documents that prove (his allegations), so why did he not reveal them immediately?" said Abbas, who added that the "lie" was aimed at torpedoing the sixth Fatah general congress, schedule to convene August 4.
"He (Kaddoumi) knows full well that this information is false; he has released it to undermine the convention, but we are continuing with the preparations," the Palestinian president said.
Arafat died at a French hospital in 2004.
Kaddoumi's comments drew harsh criticism from Fatah members residing in and outside the West Bank, with many of them claiming that the allegations had embarrassed the movement. Some even demanded that he be put on trial.
On Thursday the al-Quds al-Arabi daily reported that Kaddoumi's statement had led to an "unprecedented" crisis between the PA and the Jordanian kingdom, as the Palestinian were infuriated by the platform given to the harsh remarks.
Jordan said it regretted the fact that the accusations emanated from its territory.