Newly released documents show Palestinian negotiators agreed to give up large tracts of West Bank land, and nearly all of East Jerusalem, in peace talks with the Israeli government. The disclosure is among many contained in what is being called the “Palestine Papers”—over 1,700 files from inside Israeli-Palestinian negotiations dating from 1999 to 2010. The news network Al Jazeera began publishing details of the documents on Sunday. We speak with Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi.
Read more and listen on Democracy Now! Rashid Khalidi: Leaked “Palestine Papers” Underscore Weakness of Palestinian Authority, Rejectionism of Israel and U.S. | Democracy Now!.
Palestinian negotiators privately agreed that only 10, 000 refugees and their families – out of a total refugee population exceeding 5 million – could return to Israel as part of a peace settlement, leaked confidential documents reveal. PLO leaders also accepted Israel’s demand to define itself as an explicitly Jewish state, in sharp contrast to their public position.
The latest disclosures from thousands of pages of secret Palestinian records of more than a decade of failed peace talks, obtained by al-Jazeera TV and shared exclusively with the Guardian, follow a day of shock and protests in the West Bank, where Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders angrily denounced the leaks as a “propaganda game”.
Senior PLO leader attacks Palestine papers as ‘propaganda game’, as Hamas accuses PLO of betraying Palestinian interests
Further documents in the cache that will be released over coming days will also reveal:
• The scale of confidential concessions offered by Palestinian negotiators, including on the highly sensitive issue of the right of return of Palestinian refugees.
• How Israeli leaders privately asked for some Arab citizens to be transferred to a new Palestinian state.
• The intimate level of covert co-operation between Israeli security forces and the Palestinian Authority.
• The central role of British intelligence in drawing up a secret plan to crush Hamas in the Palestinian territories.
• How Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders were privately tipped off about Israel’s 2008-09 war in Gaza.
Today, Al Jazeera and the Guardian released the first of more than 1,600 documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The document dump comes just hours after The Associated Press reported that Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is drafting plans for a provisional Palestine. Palestinian leaders have rejected the notion as a “publicity stunt.”
Al Jazeera’s stunning revelations about Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have different meanings for Israelis, Americans and for Palestinians.
The bottom line is that, despite the assurances it gave to the Palestinian people that it was driving a hard bargain with the Israelis, the Palestinian Authority accepted Israel’s position on every key point: borders, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees.
On no major issue did the PA hold the line. None.
The Palestinians offered Israel everything Israel wants and Israel still said “no” with the backing of the United States.
His critics are already seeking to portray the “Palestine Papers” as evidence that the president of the Palestinian Authority is little more than an Israeli shill.
Palestinians living abroad, who tend to be more sympathetic to his rivals in Hamas, are already speculating that Mr Abbas and his Fatah party cannot survive the disclosures.
News outlets around the world this morning are headlining the news from Al Jazeera and The Guardian about confidential documents that, as the Guardian puts it, seem to reveal “that Palestinian negotiators secretly agreed to accept Israel’s annexation of all but one of the settlements built illegally in occupied East Jerusalem.”
Key moments in the last 20 years of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians