News / Middle East

Al Jazeera Leaks More 'Palestine Papers'

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

A second cache of documents released by the Al Jazeera television channel quotes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as saying it would be "illogical" to ask Israel to absorb 5 million refugees as part of a final peace deal.

The documents appears to contradict the Palestinians' public position that all refugees from the 1948-49 war and their descendants have the right to return to Israel.

The leaked files alleged that Mr. Abbas privately acknowledged the return of even 1 million refugees would mean "the end of Israel" and does not seem practical.

Palestinian negotiators are said in the documents to have requested that Israel allow the return of 10,000 refugees a year for 10 years - a total of 100,000.

At another point, Palestinian negotiators were said to have agreed that only a token number of refugees - just 10,000 - should return to Israel.

Israeli leaders say a mass resettlement is out of the question because it would undermine the state's Jewish majority.

A top aide to Abbas Monday accused the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, where Al Jazeera is based, of consciously seeking to damage Palestinian interests. He said the report released by the Doha-based Arab satellite channel relies on out-of-context quotes, insinuations and outright fabrications.

Yasser Abed Rabbo said Qatar's emir gave "a green light" for a political campaign against the West Bank Palestinian leadership. Qatar has close ties to Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip.  Hamas says the documents show that it is the true leader of Palestinians and has called the documents' revelations a betrayal.

The Qatari government bankrolled Al Jazeera when it launched in 1996 and is believed to still fund the station.

The new documents also reveal that in the course of peace talks in 2008 and 2009, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni proposed moving several Arab villages now in Israel into a future Palestinian state as part of a land-swap deal for West Bank Jewish settlements.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said negotiations with Israel included discussion of some ideas that the Palestinians "could never agree to." He added that "no agreement will be signed without the approval of the Palestinian people."

In Ramallah late Monday, an angry crowd of about 250 Palestinians gathered outside the West Bank's main Al Jazeera office, with some smashing the station's logo and glass panels in the front door.

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.

Abbas said Monday, during a visit to Cairo, that the proposal, which Al Jazeera reported to be from the Palestinian side, was actually an Israeli position.

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.

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.

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

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid