Palestine Papers: 5 disclosures that are making waves
Al Jazeera’s trove of documents on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which the news organization has dubbed the “Palestine Papers,” landed with a resounding thud on desks in Jerusalem and Ramallah yesterday. Here are some of the claims they contain that are already making waves in regional capitals.
The Palestinian right of return
The full documents have not been released yet and there’s been some confused reporting on the issue of the right of return – whether Palestinian refugees will be allowed in any agreement to return to their pre-1948 homes in what is now Israel.
The claim is that either the Palestinians proposed that only 10,000 refugees would be required to be allowed to return, or 10,000 a year for 10 years. Whether it's 10,000 or 100,000 in the end, it would be another major concession.
Though Israel was unlikely to agree to allow the return of large numbers of Palestinians, with more than 1 million Palestinians now living outside of Israel and the Palestinian Territories (and at least a million more living as refugees in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank), the question of refugee rights has been a major bargaining chip and the revelation is sure to disappoint many. It may also infuriate Lebanon, which hosts many Palestinian refugees and has been loath to grant them citizenship.