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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.
What's more, the documents blow apart what has been a staple of Israeli public diplomacy: the claim that there is no Palestinian partner. That theme, a refrain of Israeli spokesmen on and off for years, is undone by transcripts which show that there is not only a Palestinian partner but one more accommodating than will surely ever appear again.
Where does this leave the peace process itself? The pessimistic view is that what little life remained in it has now been punched out. On the Palestinian side these revelations are bound to strengthen Hamas, who have long rejected Fatah's strategy of negotiation, arguing that armed resistance is the only way to secure Palestinian statehood. Hamas will now be able to claim that diplomacy not only fails to bring results, it brings national humiliation.
Hundreds of Palestinians loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas broke into Al-Jazeera's offices in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, a day after the media agency released two decades of secret information known as the Palestine papers. About 250 Abbas loyalists rallied in support of the president in front of the building housing the local Al-Jazeera office on the seventh and eighth floors. A small group climbed the stairs to the station's offices, where they tried to break in. They did succeed in shattering security cameras, glass door panels and station logos.
The papers are likely to have an impact at grassroots level, both in Palestinian territories and perhaps across the region, possibly influenced by the popular unrest seen in nearby Jordan and Tunisia. It is widely believed that Hamas will benefit, as the pervasive discontent with existing leaderships continues. Palestinian officials are now accusing Al-Jazeera of distortion and are casting doubts over the papers' authenticity. However, with over 1,600 documents about to be made public, any effect will be difficult to contain.
Originally posted by FarArcher
reply to post by kwakakev
No, the change in the border over the decades has not been because Israel is a bully.
Each change in the border has been when Israel was attacked by coalitions of nations, and won additional territory as they are much more efficient fighters.
Border changes? Fighting efficiency when attacked.
• Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state under George Bush, suggested in 2008 Palestinian refugees could be resettled in south America. "Maybe we will be able to find countries that can contribute in kind," she said. "Chile, Argentina, etc."
• Livni told Palestinian negotiators in 2007 that she was against international law and insisted that it could not be included in terms of reference for the talks: "I was the minister of justice", she said. "But I am against law – international law in particular."
In several areas, Livni pressed for Arab citizens of Israel to be included in a future Palestinian state as part of a land-swap deal – raising the controversial spectre of "transfer". In other words, shifting Palestinians from one state to another without their consent – a demand backed in its wholesale form by rightwing nationalists.
Livni explained privately that there are "some Palestinian villages located on both sides of the 1967 line about which we need to have an answer, such as Beit Safafa, Barta'a, Baqa al-Sharqiya and Baqa al-Gharbiya". Earlier, she had made clear that such swaps also meant "the swap of the inhabitants". But Palestinian negotiators rejected the proposal.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to disband the Negotiations Support Unit (NSU) which provided him with technical help during long-running peace talks with Israel, an official said on Monday.
The decision was made after it was discovered that employees in the unit were behind the leak of hundreds of documents to the television station al Jazeera which embarrassed Abbas's administration.
The discovery prompted the resignation at the weekend of the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, who said he was taking responsibility for the release of about 1,600 secret documents relating to more than a decade of peace maneuvers.