‘Palestine Papers’ leaked to prove PA made concessions

Ziyad Clot writes in 'Guardian' op-ed article that he leaked documents to Al-Jazeera because peace talks were a "deceptive farce."

May 16, 2011 03:25
2 minute read.
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Palestinian Flag 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A French citizen of Palestinian descent who worked for the PLO has admitted that he was the source of the “Palestine Papers,” leaked to Al-Jazeera earlier this year.

Al-Jazeera claimed that the leaked documents showed that the Palestinian Authority had made far-reaching concessions to Israel on core issues like Jerusalem and the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees.

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The leaked documents seriously embarrassed PA leaders who threatened to sue Al-Jazeera for libel, while denying that they had made such concessions during peace talks with Israel.

Ziyad Clot, a lawyer who was involved in the 2008 Annapolis negotiations, wrote in Britain’s The Guardian an article entitled, “Why I blew the whistle,” in which he explained his motives for leaking the documents.

The PLO said then that it knew the identity of the former employee who had leaked the documents, identifying him as Ziyad Clot.

Clot, who served as a legal adviser during the negotiations, said the “peace negotiations” were a deceptive farce, “whereby deceptive terms were unilaterally imposed by Israel and systematically endorsed by the US and EU capitals.”


“My strong motives for leaving my position with the [PLO] Negotiations Support Unit and my assessment of the ‘peace process’ was clearly detailed to Palestinian negotiators in my resignation letter, dated of 9th November 2008,” he added.

Clot said the Oslo process has “deepened Israeli segregationist policies and justified the tightening of the security control imposed on the Palestinian population, as well as its geographical fragmentation.”

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Furthermore, he said the Oslo process has “tolerated the intensification of the colonization of the Palestinian territory. Far from maintaining a national cohesion, the process I participated in, albeit briefly, proved to be instrumental in creating and aggravating divisions amongst Palestinians. In its most recent developments, it became a cruel enterprise from which the Palestinians of Gaza have suffered the most.

“Last but not least, these negotiations excluded for the most part the great majority of the Palestinian people: the seven million Palestinian refugees.”

Clot said that he concluded that his experience over the 11 months spent in Ramallah confirmed that the PLO, given its structure, was not in a position to represent all Palestinian rights and interests.

He added that following his resignation, he believed he had the duty to inform the public of the most alarming developments of the Israeli-Palestinian talks, which he described as “unfair, misleading and unsustainable.”

Tragically, he continued, the Palestinians “were left uninformed of the fate of their individual and collective rights in the negotiations – and their divided political leaderships were not held accountable for their decisions or inaction.”

Clot noted that after the 2008 Operation Cast Lead offensive in the Gaza Strip, he concluded that the peace process is a “spectacle, a farce, played to the detriment of Palestinian reconciliation, at the cost of the bloodshed in Gaza.”

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