Confidential Papers Reveal:Palestinians Willing to Cede Israel Most Jewish Settlements in 2008 Talks

During the 2008 peace talks with the Olmert government, Palestinian negotiators were willing to leave most parts of eastern Jerusalem to Israeli control under a final peace deal, according to secret Palestinian documents leaked to the Arab TV channel ‘al-Jazeera’. Minutes detailing the concessions offered came from a meeting in Jerusalem in June 2008 between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators. The document is one of more than 1,600 that ‘al-Jazeera’ has begun posting on its website Sunday. Palestinian negotiators were quick to deny the reports, telling the ‘Associated Press’ that some of the papers had been fabricated.

‘Al-Jazeera’ did not say how it had obtained the documents. They reportedly include memos, e-mails, maps, minutes from private meetings and accounts of high-level negotiations between 1999 and 2010 and, according to the Qatar-based news channel, provide "an unprecedented look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level American, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials.'' They also appear to show Palestinian negotiators making greater concessions than had previously been known.

‘Al-Jazeera’ said that Palestinian negotiators also proposed compromises on the right of return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. At the June 2008 meeting, the sides reportedly engaged in a lengthy debate about land swaps - the concept that Israel would hold on to sections of the West Bank as part of a final peace deal and, in exchange, compensate the Palestinians territorially with parts of Israel.

According to the secret papers quoted in the media, then-Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei told the group: "We proposed that Israel annex all settlements in Jerusalem except Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa). This is the first time in history that we make such a proposition; we refused to do so [at] Camp David," he added, referring to the 2000 peace summit hosted by President Bill Clinton that collapsed after then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said no to a proposed agreement. The talks’ failure was followed a few months later by the Second Palestinian Intifada [uprising].

However, Qurei listed several major Israeli settlements that the Palestinians would not allow Israel to annex, including Ma'ale Adumim, to the east of Jerusalem, and Ariel, to the north. When the then-Israeli chief negotiator, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, insisted that Israel needed to hold on to Ma'ale Adumim and Ariel, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said she should instead focus on the fact that the Palestinians were conceding Jerusalem settlements including Ramat Shlomo, Gilo and French Hill.

It was Israeli construction in Ramat Shlomo that sparked a major row between the United States and Israel last March during a visit to Jerusalem by US Vice President Biden. Israel insists Ramat Shlomo, Gilo, French Hill and other areas are integral neighborhoods of Jerusalem and would therefore not be subject to a construction stop.

Qurei told the news agency AP on Sunday that some of the ‘al-Jazeera’ documents had been faked, "as part of the incitement against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian leadership." Israeli officials had no immediate comment. Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saab Erekat said: "'Al-Jazeera' has declared war on the Palestinians. This station serves the interests of the enemies of the Palestinians.”

On Monday, Jacob Galanti, a spokesman for former PM Olmert, confirmed the details of documents which detail Olmert’s 'Package Offer' to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in August 2008. During an interview with Israel's 'Army Radio', Galanti confirmed that Olmert had reached final agreements regarding settlements and Jerusalem. "He did not leave any subject open," Galanti said during the interview. He also confirmed that Olmert had agreed to a proposal that would have seen 5,000 Palestinain refugees given the approval to return to Israel.

Was Abu Mazen Willing give in 2008 What Arafat Refused in 2000?

If the documents published are original, they prove that the PA was willing to agree to the Clinton- Barak proposal in 2008:8 years too late.

What the documents did not tell us:why Abu Mazen and Ulmart did not sign an agreement.

If Abu Mazen was so willing to compromize - why nothing happened?

And above all:Why in his public statements he said the opposite and sodid other PA leaders?

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