The news continues to be dominated by the now so-called Palileaks – a large leak of documents, most of which are minuets of meetings with attachments.
Most of the material is from Prime Minister Olmert's time of negotiations in 2008. There are a few from 2009, and one very recent document from just a few weeks ago.
The upshot is that the Palestinian Authority agreed to major concessions in Jerusalem.
These classified PA documents, published Sunday night by both the Arab News Channel Al Jazeera and The Guardian news paper paint a picture that Palestinain President Mohmoud Abbas and his envoys in peace negotiations with Israel back in 2008 agreed to unprecedented far-reaching concessions in what is commonly described as East Jerusalem.
Now on yesterdays Harvest Show, Chuck asked why these leaks have occurred. According to assessments, the leak of 1,600 documents is designed to hurt Mr. Abbas.
Some have dubbed it the “Arab world's WikiLeaks” affair. But rather, it is the Palestinian Authority's embarrassment, The Israeli governments amusement, and fuel for fire for Hamas.
These secret documents, if true, reveal to all what the Palestinians would have liked to hide – and Al Jazeera has assured us that this is only the beginning… many more embarrassing documents will be published.
Now As I reported yesterday, the Palestinians assessment is that Israel got former Gaza strongman Muhammad Dahlan, who fled Gaza rather than defend it when Hamas took over the Strip, is behind the leak. The goal of all this, it is thought, is to hurt and weaken Mr. Abbass to the point that his credibility – which is already low, becomes nonexistent.
So what content in these documents would achieve that goal?
1. It is stated that the Palestnians agreed to Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem,
2. The Palestinains gave in on most of the right of return for Palestinian refugees,
3. Israel warned Abbass before the Israeli offensive 'operation cast lead' got under way in Gaza,
4. There were Coordinated eliminations of militant figures with Israel.
Amidst the continuing astonishment over what may be the greatest leak in the history of the Middle East conflict, Mr. Abbass has said that he hasn't hidden anything, and that this is the trick of Israel. The PA Chairman claims that the Arab League was updated on every detail.
Now the player to watch in this is the Hamas – who will exploit every opportunity to attack the PA.
One of their chief considerations will be the supposed fact that Tzipi Livni, then Foreign Minister, proposed the exchange of populations with the exchange of territories – and that means exchange of populations with a future Palestinian state.
This is an extremely sensitive subject for Palestinians from any way it's looked at – and exactly what Hamas will set upon.
For his part, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has come out saying that there are “inaccuracies”. But any way you look at it the Palestinians will have a hard time
trying to reduce impact of the revelations of concessions in negotiations.
The one thing that the Israeli public and the international community will have a hard time dismissing, is when current Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu says that he doesn't have a partner for peace…
Dr. Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Chief Negotiator has said; “We are ready to reveal our entire archives. If we gave in on so much, why didn't Israel sign an agreement?”. He raises a fair point – but the truth is hard for the public to discern – it is known to both sides – even the Americans… who have said that they are checking into the veracity of the documents.
Middle East Correspondent