When it comes to negotiations, the public is rarely privy to what happens during the countless meetings that precede political agreements and the much-publicized handshakes that seal them. But The Palestine Papers give us an inside look into the negotiating room, documenting playful banter, inappropriate jokes and bizarre rants in dozens of meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators during the Annapolis process. The papers also reveal the complicated relationships between officials from both sides, while illuminating how they deal with roadblocks.
A British MI6 plan for Palestinian security, in which the British government discusses training officers and restoring cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian agencies, as well as other initiatives focused on withdrawal of IDF troops and building Palestinian capability.
In a striking exchange from May 2008, Tzipi Livni, the then-Israeli foreign minister, tells Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that he will have to accept an Israeli military presence in the West Bank. His objection is met with one of Livni s more memorable dismissals:
The Annapolis process was meant to be a round of peace talks aimed at reaching an agreement to solve the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But instead of focusing on resolving the core issues at hand, why did Palestinian negotiators spend so much time during the meetings denigrating their political rivals, Hamas?
A security committee meeting discussing the Palestinian Authority projects; i.e. weapons, riot control, etc. Discussion of security collaboration with Israelis and Palestinian Authority taking action on all uprising in West Bank
Minutes of meeting primarily between Saeb Erekat and David Hale on September 17, 2009. Hale attempts to convince Erekat to accept Israeli restraint on settlements rather than a complete freeze; he expresses concern that Erekat is being unreasonable and that some talks are better than none.
An English translation of a 2005 meeting between Israeli general Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian interior minister Nasr Yousef, in which they discuss security cooperation, notably the Israeli request that the PA assassinate Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades figure Hassan al-Madhoun.
The Palestine Papers reveal that the British government played a significant role in equipping and funding the Palestinian security forces, several of which have been linked to torture and other abuses.
It s highly unlikely that Livni, Israel s then-foreign minister and former Mossad agent, was joking when she said the above. Judging from what Livni is quoted as saying to Palestinian negotiators in The Palestine Papers, her humour is probably a half Freudian slip. Jordan was, after all, proposed as one "host" country for Palestinian refugees with the blessing of Palestinian negotiators. And that s no joke.
On October 2, 2009, the UN Human Rights Council was widely expected to pass a resolution supporting the Goldstone Report, the UN s probe of war crimes committed during Israel s war in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.
Did the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s leadership have foreknowledge of the Gaza war? That question is raised - though never satisfactorily answered - by several exchanges revealed in The Palestine Papers.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) had pleaded with the Israeli government to re-occupy the Philadelphi corridor on the Gaza-Egypt border, in order to tighten the siege on Hamas-run Gaza, The Palestine Papers show.
Earlier this week, in response to Al Jazeera's first release of The Palestine Papers, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas tried to dismiss the documents by invoking pan-Arab solidarity.
Launched in January 2011, the Al Jazeera Transparency Unit (AJTU) aims to mobilize its audience - both in the Arab world and further afield - to submit all forms of content (documents, photos, audio & video clips, as well as "story tips") for editorial review and, if merited, online broadcast and transmission on our English and Arabic-language broadcasts.