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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
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.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid