Al-Jazeera Releases "The Palestine Papers": Thousands Of Documents Detailing A Decade Of Secret Israeli Palestinian Negotiations

Tyler Durden's picture

Al-Jazeera has released thousands of previously classified documents
which due to their content will likely bring the already sensitive
situation in the Middle East to a boil once again. While the document
progenitor could well be Wikileaks, the TV network refuses to disclose
the source: "Because of the sensitive nature of these documents, Al
Jazeera will not
reveal the source(s) or detail how they came into our possession. We
have taken great care over an extended period of time to assure
ourselves of their authenticity." As for what is contained: "The
material is voluminous and detailed; it provides an unprecedented
look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level American,
Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials." Apparently, the
disclosure is so sensitive that the ISP of the Palestinian authority has
just blocked the Aljazeera site containing the early releases. We look
forward to reading the documents as they are released between January 23
and 26. Judging by the prompt retaliation they will be worth the read:
according to the Palestinian Authority, Al-Jazeera has just declared was
on Palestinians, which intuitively makes little sense.

From Al-Jazeera:

Over the last several months, Al Jazeera has been given unhindered access to the largest-ever leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are nearly 1,700 files, thousands of pages of diplomatic correspondence detailing the inner workings of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. These documents – memos, e-mails, maps, minutes from private meetings, accounts of high level exchanges, strategy papers and even power point presentations – date from 1999 to 2010.

The material is voluminous and detailed; it provides an unprecedented look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level American, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials.

Al Jazeera will release the documents between January 23-26th, 2011. They will reveal new details about:

    * the Palestinian Authority’s willingness to concede illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, and to be “creative” about the status of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount;
    * the compromises the Palestinian Authority was prepared to make on refugees and the right of return;
    * details of the PA’s security cooperation with Israel;
    * and private exchanges between Palestinian and American negotiators in late 2009, when the Goldstone Report was being discussed at the United Nations.

Because of the sensitive nature of these documents, Al Jazeera will not reveal the source(s) or detail how they came into our possession. We have taken great care over an extended period of time to assure ourselves of their authenticity.

We believe this material will prove to be of inestimable value to journalists, scholars, historians, policymakers and the general public.

We know that some of what is presented here will prove controversial, but it is our intention to inform, not harm, to spark debate and reflection – not dampen it. Our readers and viewers will note that we have provided a comments section in which to express opinions. In keeping with our editorial policies, we reserve the right to excise comments that we deem inappropriate, but all civil voices will be heard, all opinions respected.

We present these papers as a service to our viewers and readers as a reflection of our fundamental belief – that public debate and public policies grow, flourish and endure when given air and light.

The 4 coincident releases are the following:

And here is the official response by the PA as described by Jerusalem Post:

PA: Al-Jazeera has declared war on Palestinians

A senior Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah on Sunday strongly condemned the Al-Jazeera TV network for publishing hundreds of documents concerning the peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

"Al-Jazeera has declared war on the Palestinians," the official told The Jerusalem Post. "This station serves the interests of the enemies of the Palestinians."

Asked if the PA was now considering measures against Al-Jazeera, the official said he did not see how a TV station that "incites" against the Palestinians would be able to continue operating in the West Bank. However, he said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently in Cairo, would decided on the PA's response to the exposure of the documents in the coming hours.

In his first response to the documents that were revealed by Al-Jazeera, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he did not know how the TV network had obtained secret documents.

"We don't hide anything from our Arab brothers," Abbas told editors of Egyptian newspapers in Cairo. "We have been briefing our Arab brothers about all our activities with the Israelis and Americans."

PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat denied that the PA had agreed to make far-reaching concessions on Jerusalem.

Erekat criticized Al-Jazeera for reporting about the documents. “This is a theater,” he said. “This is part of a campaign targeting President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA at a time when we are going to the UN Security Council regarding the settlements.”

Erekat confirmed, however, that the Palestinians and Israelis had talked about land swaps in Jerusalem and the West Bank. “Yes, we talked about land swaps,” he told Al-Jazeera. “Olmert presented us with a map about the land swap. The swap is part of international law.”

Erekat said that Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, refused to make far-reaching territorial concessions to Israel in Jerusalem. “East Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state,” he stated. “All of east Jerusalem.”

Erekat also strongly denied that former PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei [Abu Ala] had agreed to give up parts of Sheikh Jarrah, in east Jerusalem, to Israel. He also denied that the PA had voiced opposition to giving Jordan any role in east Jerusalem.

“We are now facing a battle with [Prime Minister] Binyamin Netanyahu and we are facing threats and pressures,” Erekat complained. “I don’t know where these documents came from and I would like to know who gave them to Al-Jazeera.”

Erekat also denied that the PA had agreed to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He said that when he was asked by Israel to accept this demand, he replied that it was tantamount to asking a Palestinian to join the Zionist movement.

Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, responded angrily: “Who gave the PLO the right to make concessions on Jerusalem? The PLO does not represent the Palestinians.”

Atwan said it was outrageous that four Palestinian offcials were negotiating on behalf of all Palestinians and making concessions without being authorized to do so. He named the officials as Saeb Erekat, Salam Fayyad, Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Abed Rabbo.




Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
ReallySparky's picture

This should be an interesting week.  I never thought that as an American, I would be relying on Al-Jazeera for ground breaking, investigative reporting.  It will be fun to watch our MSM comment, dis-credit and blah, blah, blah this new revelation.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

Let's flashback to 1991.  Just imagine telling somebody then that, "20 years from now we will have to turn to Pravda and an Arab news organization called Al Jazeera if we want to know what is really going on."  They would have sent you to Hazeltine or Bellevue.

Do Krugman and Friedman still work for The New York Times?  Yep, Al Jazeera looks better every day. 

Dont Taze Me Bro's picture

People in 1991 had the same problem we do now. They knew the problem, but couldn't stop their own degradation. Imagine 20 years from now in 2031, someone looks back and says, damn, can you imagine telling someone in 2011 that in 20 years, America will be one giant 3rd world country, with 50% unemployment rate, etc, where the goal of an average young person is to emigrate to another country, what would they say?

Krugman and Friedman are smart. I bet they already have their second passports ready. They can bailout when the going gets tough.

Al Gorerhythm's picture

The cross-border flows will grow proportionally to unemployment. 

JR's picture

The Krugmans and the Friedmans are smart? They’ve scorched earth and burned the bridges everywhere they’ve been; just who will have them now?

Segestan's picture

Want to know you're future? Look no further than the crap the boomers get...not saying boomers were right or wrong , but it won't matter.... enjoy.

DaveyJones's picture

you knew Al-J was something when our government tried to take them out

Salinger's picture

AJ is what CNN could have been or perhaps once was, notwithstanding the medium is the message and AJ is as controlled as the three network musketeers in America along with the aforementioned and the other cable prop networks

Bob's picture

Can't wait for the US to issue a fatwa to take care of this.

nevadan's picture

Here is another take on the situation,

debkafile reveals that the documents were sold to the TV network by a disgruntled Palestinian staffer fired from the PA's NFU-Negotiating Support Team. They were used to depict  Abbas and Ereket as willing to betray Palestinian national interests, Israel as offering nothing in return for Palestinian concessions and America as unfairly advocating Israel's case throughout.
debkafile: The "expose" was clearly motivated by the urge to settle internal scores within the Arab camp and 
among rival Palestinian factions.
The presentation of a decade of negotiations is flawed on four counts: ...

chumbawamba's picture

Right.  That's the crazy zionist version of the story (which, incidentally, and uncharacteristically for DF, isn't too far off the mark).

For the more nuanced version, The Angry Arab fills in the details:

PA has acted as the political stooge and enforcement goons for the zionists since Oslo.

I am Chumbawamba.

Mercury's picture

The over/under is 500 comments

WestVillageIdiot's picture

"The over/under is 500 comments"

I think everybody is too busy watching Caleb Hainey try to do his Joe Montana impersonation.  I think the Bears could use Tony Montana as their QB right now.

topcallingtroll's picture

I will put twenty.on under.

Sudden Debt's picture

Does anybody actually gives a fuck about that region anymore?

I sure don't.

Just support the trend: Give them free diesel and waterproof matches and let them selfcombust.




Id fight Gandhi's picture

Why should the USA keep giving aid and weapons to Israel? Can't they deal with their own problems?

All it does is make the other countries mad at the US. We should be neutral and just buy their oil, everyone will be happy.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I believe there is this thing called "the military industrial complex" that would disagree with you.  Plus, I believe Israel has a couple ties into the higher levels of the United States government.  It seems that there is a lot of moolah to be made by talking peace in the Mideast but encouraging war.  Just think how much money some segments of our population could make if/when Israel attacks Iran. 

Making bombs is a lot more profitable than making bon-bons.  Ask any Belgian.  Sudden Debt, quit looking at your wang and let us know. 

Arkadaba's picture

A view on Afghan reconstruction projects compared to what is happening in the States:

HellFish's picture

What a stunning comment on your personal value system.

Has it occurred to you there is an intrinsic good to supporting the only Democracy in the region?

WestVillageIdiot's picture

"Has it occurred to you there is an intrinsic good to supporting the only Democracy in the region?"


Bwahahahaha.  Do you do standup in your spare time?  Did you really write "intrinsic good"?  Oh, that is some good humor.  My stomach hurts. 

Max Hunter's picture

Hellfish.... Did your mother have any children that lived?.. Because a country is a "democracy" they shrink from controversy?.. You, sir, are an idiot..

Are you the lost love child of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Anne Coulter's threesome??

DollarMenu's picture

There's got to be some squid in there too.

ColonelCooper's picture

Anne Coulter is actually pretty funny, so I'm going to guess no.  If Hellfish were her son his comment would have at least displayed some wit.

Terminus C's picture

I guess Turkey is not in the region...

Also... wow, really... intrinsic good?

You must not know too much about the situation other than what the MSM feeds you.  There is no intrinsic good in allowing (nay, enabling) one group of people to completely oppress another.  Yes, I get the whole suicide bomber/terrorist schtick but really, read some history, examine the multitude of perspectives involved in this situation before spewing "intrinsic good".


WestVillageIdiot's picture

Oh, don't be silly.  Pay no attention to the King David Hotel or the Irgun.  Revisionist history is my favorite history since it's already been revised and I don't have to think. 


Max Hunter's picture

Was it Napoleon that said "History is a set of lies agreed upon"

Hmmm.. I wonder what a group of people could get away with if they had control of the majority of Western Mainstream News outlets... Ohhh yeah.. never mind..

Bob's picture

No, no--imagine if the "mainstream" media were completely owned by mega-corps! 


Max Hunter's picture

Good point...  Them too !!

Arkadaba's picture

You are correct, Hamas was democratically elected

WestVillageIdiot's picture

So were Hillary, Pelosi and Obama.  That democracy thing sure seems to favor crooks, villains and idiots and especially villainous idiot crooks. 

duncecap rack's picture

How is it Dubya and Cheney didn't make your list? I sense a bias.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I've moved on and tried to get those buttholes out of my mind.  We still suffer with Hill, Nan and O.  To show I'm not biased I will also throw in Boehner and McConnell.  What a couple of blowjobs they are. 

jeff montanye's picture

regarding w and dick's election: they lost by a million votes. but on a brighter note probably saved us (and al) a presidential assassination, er, accident and president joe lieberman.  that's got to be worth something.

web dizajn's picture

it's not democracy if I don't like it

GDE's picture

Have you ever noticed that islamists come to power everytime there are free elections in a muslim state ?

Democraty is an European political concept and to this day there was never any democraty in muslim countries. They all turn into an islamic republic or a military laical regime cause that's the only ways to run countries like these.

pan-the-ist's picture

It could be because the people want them.  Think of the Christian nutters that could run this country if ever there were "free" elections.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Israel is a religious state run country. There is no democracy. Would anyone of any other religious belief be allowed to run the country or hold office?

DrLamer's picture

Israel is a religious state run country.

Israel is NOT a "religious state run country". Israel is STUPIDITY state country, because King David COULD NOT OBTAIN a citizenship of modern Israel, because according to the modern Israel "law"  he is not ..... a jew (!?). This is not about "religion", this is about a monopoly of rabbis in Israel. There is nothing common with judaism of Aaron (older brother of Moses).

DrLamer's picture

The Vatican?

Vatican is not really an independent state, it is not even a city. Besides, it has a kind of Constitution:

Instead, modern Israel (still) does not have a Constitution.