Qurei: Ma’aleh Adumim residents can live in our state

"Palestine Papers" reveal former Palestinian Authority PM offered to allow the 30,000 people living in settlement to remain under Palestinian rule.

Maaleh Adumim 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
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 Palestine Papers.”
“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.
In 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 responded.
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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.”
Qurei disagreed.
“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 Jerusalem Post on Monday, Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel dismissed the idea.
“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.