News / Middle East

Abbas: Leaked Palestinian Concessions Were a Mix-Up

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a news conference after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the presidential palace in Cairo, 24 Jan 2011
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a news conference after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the presidential palace in Cairo, 24 Jan 2011

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the Al Jazeera television channel report about Palestinian concessions made during the course of peace talks in 2008 and 2009 is a "mix-up."

Confidential documents obtained by Al Jazeera allege that Palestinian negotiators secretly offered concessions, including an agreement to cede almost all of occupied East Jerusalem to Israel.

Mr. Abbas said Monday during a visit to Cairo the proposal which Al Jazeera reported to be from the Palestinian side was one from the Israeli side.

The leaked transcript of a June 2008 meeting between Palestinian, U.S. and Israeli officials said chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei proposed that Israel keep all but one of the major settlements it built in East Jerusalem after capturing that part of the city during the 1967 Mideast war.

Mr. Abbas said he thinks the documents were altered intentionally before they were leaked to Al Jazeera. He says the Palestinian Authority has "nothing to hide" when it comes to peace negotiations and that the Palestinians discuss details with other Arab nations.

The Qatar-based Al Jazeera says it will publish other documents in the coming days highlighting more concessions on sensitive issues such as the right of return for Palestinian refugees and the proposed international control of Jerusalem's key holy sites.

According to the documents, Israeli leaders turned down the offers, saying they were inadequate.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat dismissed the reports as "lies and half truths" during an appearance Sunday on Al Jazeera.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Sunday the U.S. is reviewing the alleged documents and cannot vouch for their veracity.

The nearly 1,700 files cover an 11-year period from 1999 to 2010 and have been described by Al Jazeera as the largest leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Al Jazeera has shared the documents with Britain's The Guardian newspaper, which says it has verified most of them.

In the documents, Qurei describes the territorial concessions in East Jerusalem as enabling population exchanges needed for a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

Leaked minutes from the June 2008 meeting quote Qurei as saying this is "the first time in history" the Palestinians had made such a proposal. He added that the Palestinians had refused to make such a concession during negotiations led by the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in 2000.

On the refugee issue, the files say the Palestinians secretly agreed that Israel would accept 10,000 refugees a year for 10 years – a total of 100,000.

This contradicts the Palestinians' public position that all refugees from the 1948-49 war and their descendants – several million people – have the right to return to Israel. The Israeli government has always rejected this demand as a threat to the Jewish character of their state.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs