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Palestine offered Israel "biggest ever Jerusalem" - reports

Al Jazeera obtains reports on ten years of Middle East peace negotiations, documenting the “slow death of the peace process”.

Israeli bulldozers demolish the Sheperd Hotel in East Jerusalem earlier this month. Palestinian negotiators offered control of East Jerusalem in 2008 and 2009, according to new leaked reports.
Israeli bulldozers demolish the Sheperd Hotel in East Jerusalem earlier this month. Palestinian negotiators offered control of East Jerusalem in 2008 and 2009, according to new leaked reports.
Image: Bernat Armangue/AP

PALESTINIAN PEACE NEGOTIATORS were willing to hand over control of all but one area of Palestinian-controlled territory to Israel, in return for a fully recognised Palestinian state, it has emerged.

Over 1,600 Palestinian documents detailing more than a decade of negotiations between Israel and Palestine have been leaked to Al Jazeera, and shared with the Guardian.

Those documents, which are to be published in full in the coming days, also reveal that the proposed land transfer amounted to “the biggest Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] in Jewish history“, with almost all of East Jerusalem – more typically inhabited by the Arab communities – being offered into Israeli control.

Al Jazeera says that the remarkable offer – which was sure to anger many Palestinians, who would see the sacrifice of its lands as a major betrayal – went almost totally unacknowledged by Israel.

The offers were made in 2008 and 2009, and came after George Bush held a major conference between Palestinian and Israeli leaders.

The Guardian adds that further documents to be released in the coming days outline how Israeli leaders had privately asked for some Israeli-living Arab citizens to be transferred to a new Palestinian state, as well as how the leaders of the Palestinian Authority was privately tipped off about Israel’s plans to start an armed conflict in Gaza in 2008-09.

Other details in the leaked papers suggest that British intelligence forces had a role in drawing up a plan with the Palestinian Authority to “crush” the Hamas movement currently in control of Gaza.

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Gavan Reilly

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