Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Secret papers reveal slow death of Middle East peace process

Massive new leak lifts lid on negotiations
• PLO offered up key settlements in East Jerusalem
• Concessions made on refugees and Holy sites

• Israel spurned offer of ‘biggest Jerusalem in history’
• Palestinian leaders weak – and increasingly desperate
• The story behind the Palestine papers
Palestine papers reveal concessions by peace negotiators on areas like Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount 
The Palestine papers reveal the offer of concessions by Palestinian peace negotiators on areas such as the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount holy sites in Jerusalem. Photograph: Awad Awad/AFP/Getty Images
 
The biggest leak of confidential documents in the history of the Middle East conflict has revealed that Palestinian negotiators secretly agreed to accept Israel‘s annexation of all but one of the settlements built illegally in occupied East Jerusalem. This unprecedented proposal was one of a string of concessions that will cause shockwaves among Palestinians and in the wider Arab world. 
 
A cache of thousands of pages of confidential Palestinian records covering more than a decade of negotiations with Israel and the US has been obtained by al-Jazeera TV and shared exclusively with the Guardian. The papers provide an extraordinary and vivid insight into the disintegration of the 20-year peace process, which is now regarded as all but dead.

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