Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Jericho, 2007. Photo by GPO
Text size

Al-Jazeera TV and The Guardian revealed Sunday the details of 1,600 confidential documents on negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over the last two decades.

The documents leaked so far mostly reveal secret concessions offered by Palestinian negotiators on the issues of the right of return of Palestinian refugees, territorial concessions, and the recognition of Israel.

According to Al-Jazeera, Palestinian negotiators secretly agreed to concede almost all of East Jerusalem to Israel.

The Palestinian Authority reportedly offered in 2008 that Israel take control of all neighborhoods in Jerusalem except Har Homa, the first time in history the Palestinians made such a proposal, one that they refused to during the Camp David summit.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, also proposed in an October 2009 meeting that Jerusalem's Old City be divided, giving Israel control over the Jewish Quarter, part of the Armenian Quarter, and part of the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Further details reveal that the Palestinians agreed that solely 100,000 Palestinian refugees return to Israel as part of the Palestinian right of return, and that Erekat agreed to the Israeli demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state.

Among other documents due to be released is an Israeli offer to transfer Israeli Arabs citizens to the territory of a future Palestinian state.

Moreover, Al-Jazeera revealed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was personally notified by a senior Israeli official that Israel was planning an attack on the Gaza Strip, the night before Operation Cast Lead. Israeli and Palestinian officials reportedly discussed targeted assassinations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists in Gaza.

Al-Jazeera reported that it plans to dedicate one day for every issue detailed in the thousands of pages of documents, which are regarded as the largest leak in the history of the Middle East conflict.

The documents already released on the Al-Jazeera website can be seen as official documents with Palestinian Authority stamps and signatures of several PA senior officials, in particular Saeb Erekat.