French Lawyer Reveals Himself as 'Palestine Papers' Source

Ziyad Clot, a lawyer of Palestinian descent involved in 2008 Annapolis negotiations between Israel and PA, says in Guardian op-ed that 'Israel's attack on Gaza and the disastrous 'peace talks' compelled me to leak what I knew.'

A French lawyer involved in the Annapolis negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority took responsibility Saturday for being a source of the controversial "Palestine papers," hundreds of leaked confidential documents on peace talks with Israel belonging to the Palestinian Authority.

In an op-ed in the British newspaper The Guardian, Ziyad Clot, who is of Palestinian descent, said, "Israel's attack on Gaza and the disastrous 'peace talks' compelled me to leak what I knew."


Clot, who was recruited as an adviser for the Palestinian negotiation team in 2008, said that only 11 months into his job he grew disillusioned with the peace process.

"The 'peace negotiations' were a deceptive farce whereby biased terms were unilaterally imposed by Israel and systematically endorsed by the U.S. and EU," he wrote.

"Far from enabling a negotiated and fair end to the conflict, the pursuit of the Oslo process deepened Israeli segregationist policies and justified the tightening of the security control imposed on the Palestinian population, as well as its geographical fragmentation."

Clot said that the peace process left Palestinians "uninformed of the fate of their individual and collective rights" and expressed anger that it had excluded the seven million Palestinian refugees.

"My experience over those 11 months in Ramallah confirmed that the PLO, given its structure, was not in a position to represent all Palestinian rights and interests," Clot wrote, and said that after he resigned, he thought it was his duty to inform the Palestinian public regarding the decisions of their political leaders.

Clot expressed his relief that the information was now available to the Palestinians throughout the world, and said they are now able to make enlightened decisions about the future of the conflict.

"The world can no longer overlook that while Palestinians' strong commitment to peace is genuine, the fruitless pursuit of a "peace process" framed according to the exclusive conditions of the occupying power leads to compromises which would be unacceptable in any other region of the globe," he wrote.

The Palestine papers exposed details of peace negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel's Kadima government in 2008, and exposed the serious concessions the Palestinian negotiators were ready to make, such as secret compromises over core issues like Jerusalem and refugees.

Former chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had previously blamed the leak on Al Jazeera reporter Clayton Swisher, a U.S. citizen who served as a bodyguard in the State Department during the Clinton administration.