Palestinians to wind up peace talks unit after leaks 15Feb11 February 15, 2011

Google News -  15 February 2011

The Palestine Liberation Organisation has decided to wind up its Negotiations Support Unit after damaging leaks about the concessions it was prepared to make to Israel, an official told AFP on Monday.

The decision by the PLO Executive Committee will take effect next month, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Committee member Ahmad Majdalani told AFP that the unit would be restructured and placed under the direct supervision of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Formed in 1999 to provide technical assistance to the Palestinian negotiating team, the unit had received finding from a number of European governments, particularly Britain and the Scandinavian countries.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat tendered his resignation on Saturday, telling AFP he was taking responsibility for the embarrassing disclosure of confidential position papers to Al-Jazeera television and London’s Guardian newspaper.

He said the documents had been stolen from his office.

The files, which Erakat charged had been “deliberately” tampered with, show Palestinian negotiators offering unprecedented concessions during peace negotiations, including on the ultra-sensitive subjects of Jerusalem and refugees, with nothing in return from Israel.

They also show the Palestinian leadership closely cooperating with Israel in its fight against the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Fatah’s bitter rival which rules the Gaza Strip.

The more than 1,600 confidential documents dubbed “The Palestine Papers” cover 10 years of secret peace talks with Israel.

US-brokered peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians stalled in September over the issue of Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, including annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

The Palestinians have refused to return to direct peace talks since a 10-month Israel settlement freeze expired just three weeks after the last round of negotiations resumed.

If you liked this article, please consider making a donation to Australians for Palestine by clicking on the PayPal link
Thank You.
Bookmark and Share

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address