Middle East

Palestinian views: Anger at leaks on Middle East talks

Palestinians react to leaked documents on Middle East peace negotiations that suggest their leaders were prepared to give up large parts of occupied East Jerusalem to the Israelis.

They included all Jewish settlements, with the exception of Har Homa, and the Jewish Quarter and part of the Armenian Quarter in the Old City. It was apparently also suggested the flashpoint Arab neighbourhood, Sheikh Jarrah, be swapped for land elsewhere.


I am very shocked because I don't think that there is anyone in the world who has the right to make these negotiations on Jerusalem. It's a red line for the Palestinian people. We struggle to protect Jerusalem.

We will still keep up our demonstrations every Friday against the Jewish settlements. Even the Palestinian Authority and Israel cannot take our land because it is illegal. We will continue our struggle to keep our houses and jobs in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan and everywhere in East Jerusalem.

If this news is true, there will be big problems. People in Jerusalem will not trust the Palestinian Authority to represent them any more and I'm not sure what will happen.


We must wait to find out the real truth because [the chief Palestinian negotiation] Mr Saeb Erekat has denied all this information that [the news channel] al-Jazeera produced. We know and we trust that our leaders cannot lose Jerusalem because Palestine is Jerusalem and Jerusalem is Palestine. Nobody can give up anything because the Palestinians will not agree to it.

I think this is a political game. We know the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are at a very hard point. The Americans cannot achieve anything. At the same time we read in the newspapers every day that there are new settlements, new raids on Gaza and people are being killed.

Now I am worried the Palestinian people don't have much patience left. We are living a hard life. Here in Jerusalem, there is no business under Israeli occupation. That means we do not have enough work, enough money or enough food. I fear there will be a new intifada [uprising].


I am not shocked because this Palestinian Authority has already shown it is willing to give up the settlements. The Israelis probably saw it was giving up all this land and decided to wait for it to give up more.

If the Palestinian Authority was acting correctly why is it so afraid?

If we were united we would do the same as what has just happened in Tunisia. The left-wing here should take its chance.

We need someone who all factions could agree on, perhaps someone independent, who could speak on behalf of all of us to the Israelis.

Negotiation should come from a strong position. I don't think the Palestinian Authority is the right body to speak on our behalf.


I believe these leaks are just meant to embarrass the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

[The satellite channel] al-Jazeera did a great job covering the intifada but with this news it is just damaging the reputation of the Palestinian leaders. We reject this.

We will not be affected in the way that we see our leaders. We know what their goals are.

The fallout from this will not last. It is just rumours from certain people who have their own agendas.

As well-educated people we must make sure this does not affect us.


I feel angry, disappointed and confused. This has confirmed the Palestinians' suspicions about their representatives and our lack of a political system. It is also confirmation that Israel is stubborn and will not deliver anything.

This distorts the Palestinian cause. What will be left of Palestine if these people talk about giving up holy places - places that [late Palestinian President] Yasser Arafat was saying Palestinians would never give up?

Why is there not a stronger reaction on the street? Why are people not shouting and carrying signs saying: "Resign! We do not want you, you do not represent us?" It is because they have been crushed by the Israeli occupation. We are living in an apartheid system, in separate communities, closed off from each other, and with two political systems in Gaza and the West Bank.

For the time being I do not think there will be any negotiations. I don't see any Palestinian who is capable or responsible enough to meet Israelis publicly today on these issues. This is a dead end for the negotiations.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites