Jan 24, 2011
Al-Jazeera has released thousands of previously classified documents which due to their content will likely bring the already sensitive situation in the Middle East to a boil once again. While the document progenitor could well be Wikileaks, the TV network refuses to disclose the source: “Because of the sensitive nature of these documents, Al Jazeera will not reveal the source(s) or detail how they came into our possession. We have taken great care over an extended period of time to assure ourselves of their authenticity.” As for what is contained: “The material is voluminous and detailed; it provides an unprecedented look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level American, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials.” Apparently, the disclosure is so sensitive that the ISP of the Palestinian authority has just blocked the Aljazeera site containing the early releases. We look forward to reading the documents as they are released between January 23 and 26. Judging by the prompt retaliation they will be worth the read: according to the Palestinian Authority, Al-Jazeera has just declared was on Palestinians, which intuitively makes little sense.
Over the last several months, Al Jazeera has been given unhindered access to the largest-ever leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are nearly 1,700 files, thousands of pages of diplomatic correspondence detailing the inner workings of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. These documents – memos, e-mails, maps, minutes from private meetings, accounts of high level exchanges, strategy papers and even power point presentations – date from 1999 to 2010.
The material is voluminous and detailed; it provides an unprecedented look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level American, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials.
Al Jazeera will release the documents between January 23-26th, 2011. They will reveal new details about:
* the Palestinian Authority’s willingness to concede illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, and to be “creative” about the status of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount;
* the compromises the Palestinian Authority was prepared to make on refugees and the right of return;
* details of the PA’s security cooperation with Israel;
* and private exchanges between Palestinian and American negotiators in late 2009, when the Goldstone Report was being discussed at the United Nations.
The 4 coincident releases are the following:
And here is the official response by the PA as described by Jerusalem Post:
PA: Al-Jazeera has declared war on Palestinians
A senior Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah on Sunday strongly condemned the Al-Jazeera TV network for publishing hundreds of documents concerning the peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.
“Al-Jazeera has declared war on the Palestinians,” the official told The Jerusalem Post. “This station serves the interests of the enemies of the Palestinians.”
Asked if the PA was now considering measures against Al-Jazeera, the official said he did not see how a TV station that “incites” against the Palestinians would be able to continue operating in the West Bank. However, he said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently in Cairo, would decided on the PA’s response to the exposure of the documents in the coming hours.
This article was posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 at 5:02 am