Palestinian Authority outraged over al Jazeera disclosure

Published January 24th, 2011 - 06:37 GMT

The Palestinian Authority offered in 2008 to cede parts of occupied east Jerusalem in peace talks with Israel, Al-Jazeera news channel revealed, citing "secret documents."

On his part, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, dismissed the report, saying the Palestinian leadership had "nothing to hide." He described the report as "a pack of lies."

Al-Jazeera said the Jerusalem areas offered were where Jewish settlements have been built, including French Hill, Ramat Alon and Gilo, as well as the Jewish Quarter and a part of the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem's Old City.

Israel, according to the Pan- Arab channel, offered nothing in return.

Al-Jazeera said the concessions came at a June 2008 meeting in Jerusalem between Condoleezza Rice, then US secretary of state, then Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni and ex-Palestinian premier Ahmad Qorei, and Erakat. "This last proposition could help in the swap process," Qorei is quoted as saying. "We proposed that Israel annexes all settlements in Jerusalem except Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa)," he said in the documents.

"This is the first time in history that we make such a proposition; we refused to do so in Camp David," he added.

Qorei told Livni at the June 2008 meeting there would be no concessions on Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Al-Jazeera said it had obtained more than 1,600 internal confidential documents from a decade of US-brokered peace negotiations.

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