The Palestine Papers – a collection of classified documents on the Middle East peace process, leaked to Al Jazeera – reveal that the US has stifled true Palestinian democracy and acted more like Israel's lawyer. Only a bold policy shift could salvage a positive US role in the Middle East peace process. Otherwise, the US must stand back and allow the popular movements now shaking countries across the region, like Tunisia and Egypt, to establish representation for their people.
Israeli TV has reported that the Palestine papers were leaked by a former staffer of the Negotiations Support Unit, a foreign-funded NGO that advises Palestinian negotiators.
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. Al Jazeera has so far only released some of the documents, which appear to come from the Palestinian side. Though Palestinian officials allege that some of the documents are faked, here are a few of the claims they contain that are already making waves in regional capitals.
Al Jazeera has begun to publish 1,300 documents that detail far-reaching Palestinian concessions on Jerusalem and borders. The offers were rebuffed by Israel.
Gaza militants fired 15 mortars or rockets into Israel on Monday and Tuesday in an unexpected flare-up two years after Israel's devastating offensive on the Hamas-controlled coastal strip.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is to meet Thursday in New York with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli authorities recently announced the construction of 1,300 more housing units in Arab East Jerusalem.
Israel publicized plans to build more than 1,300 new homes in East Jerusalem, angering Palestinians and disappointing the US on the eve of a Netanyahu visit.
Palestinians are discussing other options if peace talks fail. Chief among them is seeking recognition as a sovereign state from the UN.
Palestinian leaders have been warning that renewed peace talks with Israel, scheduled for next week, could be derailed after an Israeli settlement freeze expires. But behind the threats is a more nuanced and compromising position.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas won Arab League backing today to enter direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks – a step the US and Israel have been pushing for.