Why the Palestine Papers were leaked

Ziyad Clot, who leaked the Palestine Papers, on why he did it:

My own experience with the "peace process" started in Ramallah in January 2008 after I was recruited as an adviser for the Negotiation Support Unit (NSU) of the PLO, specifically in charge of the Palestinian refugee file. That was a few weeks after a goal had been set at the Annapolis conference: the creation of the Palestinian State by the end of 2008. Only 11 months into my job, in November of that same year, I resigned. By December 2008, instead of the establishment of a State in Palestine, I witnessed on TV the killing of more than 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli army.

My strong motives for leaving my position with the NSU and my assessment of the "peace process" were clearly detailed to Palestinian negotiators in my resignation letter dated of 9th November 2008.

The "peace negotiations" were a deceptive farce, whereby biased terms were unilaterally imposed by Israel and systematically endorsed by the US and EU capitals. Far from enabling a negotiated fair end of the conflict, the pursuit of 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. Far for preserving the land on which to build a State, it has tolerated the intensification of the colonisation 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 7 million-Palestinian refugees. My experience over those 11 months spent in Ramallah confirms in fact that the PLO, given its structure, was not in a position to represent all Palestinian rights and interests.

After I resigned, I believed I had a duty to inform the public of the most alarming developments of the Israeli-Palestinian talks. These talks were unfair, misleading and became unsustainable. Tragically, 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.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.