News / Middle East

    Palestinian Leaders Dispute Leaked Papers

    Palestinian police officers block the entrance to the Al-Jazeera TV office, after protesters vandalized it, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, 24 Jan 2011
    Palestinian police officers block the entrance to the Al-Jazeera TV office, after protesters vandalized it, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, 24 Jan 2011
    Luis Ramirez

    Palestinian leaders are rejecting reports aired by al-Jazeera that quotes what the network says are hundreds of leaked Palestinian documents that show Palestinian negotiators offered significant concessions to Israel on land and refugee issues during negotiations in 2008.  

    The documents quoted conversations by Palestinian, Israeli, and U.S. officials that suggested the Palestinian negotiators were, among other things, willing to hand over all but one of the Jewish settlements adjacent to Jerusalem that sit on land claimed by the Palestinians.

    On one of the most sensitive of the issues, the network quoted the papers as saying Palestinian negotiators proposed allowing the compound where the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest site is, come under international control temporarily while a permanent agreement is reached.

    Watch Robert Raffaele's Report:

    The Palestinian Fatah movement in Jerusalem was among the factions responding to the report. Its leader, Hatem Abdel Khader, spoke on Palestinian radio. He said this area is the most important place for Arab Muslims in Jerusalem. He also said no one has a right to give up the land because it is ground that is holy to Islam.  

    The documents, if true, could undermine Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who some Palestinians already perceive as one who is weak and willing to make too many concessions to Israel.

    Palestinian officials have denied the reports and are calling for independent verification of the papers, which one senior official described as being full of lies and half-truths.  

    Abbas aide Yasser Abed Rabbo on Monday accused the al-Jazeera network of misleading viewers. Hundreds of Abbas supporters rallied outside the network's office in the West Bank town of Ramallah, smashing windows and cameras before police intervened.  

    The United States, a broker of the negotiations, said Washington could not vouch for the veracity of the documents.

    Reports on the papers have fueled the frustration that many Palestinians feel about the failure of President Abbas' leadership to reach an agreement and end the Israeli occupation.  

    Abu Issa is a shopkeeper at the Shuafat Palestinian refugee camp bordering Pizgat Zeev, one of the Jewish areas that the Palestinian leadership allegedly offered to let Israel annex. He said he considers any handover unthinkable and was especially angered by the suggestion that the Israelis offered nothing in return.

    Issa said he has known all along that the negotiators have been talking for almost 20 years and have nothing to show for it. He said he believes there will be no peace with the Israelis. He thinks the Israeli people want peace, but believes their government does not.

    Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the documents support his belief that a permanent peace agreement is not possible, and that Israel should pursue only an interim agreement.

    Hamas, the rival militant Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, on Monday said the documents quoted by al-Jazeera show the Palestinian leadership under Abbas has surrendered to Israel.

     

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

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora