RAMALLAH, May 15 (JMCC) - A French-Palestinian lawyer has admitted being the source of at least some of Palestinian negotiating documents leaked to al-Jazeera satellite channel, their contents broadcast earlier this year.Writing in The Guardian
, Ziyad Clot said that after spending a short time working with Palestinian officials, where he had access to the documents, he left in frustration.
My name has been circulated as one of the possible sources of these leaks. I would like to clarify here the extent of my involvement in these revelations and explain my motives. I have always acted in the best interest of the Palestinian people, in its entirety, and to the full extent of my capacity.
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. Far from enabling a negotiated and fair end to the conflict, the pursuit of the Oslo process deepened Israeli segregationist policies and justified the tightening of the security control imposed on the Palestinian population, as well as its geographical fragmentation. Far from 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, was instrumental in creating and aggravating divisions among 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 seven million Palestinian refugees. My experience over those 11 months in Ramallah confirmed that the PLO, given its structure, was not in a position to represent all Palestinian rights and interests.
Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, has said in interviews he suspected a French citizen of leaking the documents that detailed conversations between Israeli and Palestinian officials on key negotiating issues.
In an interview with the
Electronic Intifada, Erekat said that he would not pursue Clot, despite the adviser having broken his trust.
Erekat submitted his resignation after the leak and the Negotiations Support Unit he headed was closed, but it appears that - at least for the time being - Erekat continues to represent the PLO negotiating team.