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Thursday Jan. 27, 2011 10:27 AM (EST+7)
Palestinians seek to question three foreign nationals in connection with leak


Read more: Palestine papers, Saeb Erekat, al-Jazeera, Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Alistaire Crooke, Clayton Swisher

RAMALLAH, January 27 (JMCC) - Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has told the Associated Press and Haaretz that Palestinians have asked the United States, United Kingdom and France to assist in questioning three foreign nationals over the leak of internal Palestinian documents.

Erekat, speaking last night on al-Jazeera, said he suspected more than a thousand documents were leaked to the Qatari-based television station by an employee of al-Jazeera, Clayton Swisher, who was formerly employed by the US State Department.

Today, however, Erekat said only that he is making no accusations of wrongdoing, but seeks to question Swisher and two other men. One of them is Alistaire Crooke, who worked closely with the European Union security team here in the West Bank.

Crooke now heads a think tank engaged in dialogue with Hamas officials in Syria and Lebanon.

Erekat did not indicate who the French national is that Palestinians would like to question.

The allegations came as al-Jazeera and the Guardian released a final round of secret documents Wednesday night.

The new papers show how the Palestinian Authority was pressured by the United States to stall approval of a United Nations report alleging war crimes in Israel's 2008-09 war in Gaza. The Goldstone report ultimately was passed, but by then had lost momentum and key support in the UN security council.
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