Maaleh Adumim 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Former Palestinian Authority prime minister Ahmed Qurei proposed that residents
of the third-largest West Bank settlement, Ma’aleh Adumim, could live in a
Palestinian state rather than being relocated to Israel, during talks he held
with Israeli officials in 2008, according to what some are calling “The
“There are 30,000 people living in Ma’aleh Adumim.
They can live under Palestinian rule,” Qurei told then-foreign minister Tzipi
Livni, during a May 21, 2008, negotiating session between top Israeli and
Palestinian officials at the capital’s Inbal Hotel.
A transcript of the
conversation was released late on Sunday night, as part of a cache of 1,684
secret documents of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations covering the years
1999-2010 that were published online by Al-Jazeera and The Guardian
the conversation, Livni dismissed Qurei’s suggestion.
“You know this is
not realistic,” she said.
“So take them out, like you did in Gaza,” Qurei
But the idea resurfaced later in the conversation, when PLO
chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “We do not want Palestinians to become
Israelis and we do not want Israelis to become Palestinians.”
“I do not mind if Israelis become Palestinians, let them
stay,” he said.
Livni said she believed that in that situation, “They
[Palestinians] will kill them the next day.”
Qurei, however, returned to
the topic a few weeks later, at a June 15 meeting, also at the Inbal Hotel.
Perhaps Ma’aleh Adumim could remain under Palestinian sovereignty and it could
be a model for cooperation and coexistence, he said.
Speaking to The
on Monday, Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel dismissed the
“It’s not an option,” he said.
Dani Dayan, who heads the
Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said that
such an idea was “nonsense” and the kind of scenario that more properly belonged
in a science fiction novel.