The Palestine Papers

(2004)


In January 2011, confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were leaked, including thousands of pages diplomatic correspondence, minutes from private meetings, transcripts of high level exchanges and strategy papers dated from 1999 to 2010. Documents are PDFs and listed below in chronological order.


  • February 28, 2004 - Withdrawal Plan from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Resumption of PA Control
    • Summary: Draft of Withdrawal plan by NSU entitled "Withdrawal Plan from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Resumption of Palestinian Authority Control," dated February 28, 2004. The detailed plan sets forth the PA draft of the plan, including weekly expectations of GOI withdrawal and PA redeployment, as well as cessations, cooperation and re-establishment of pre-Sept 28, 2000 positions and procedures.
  • February 29, 2004 - NSU Memo to Erekat Re: Gaza Withdrawal Plan
    • Summary: Memorandum from NSU to Saeb Erekat regarding "Gaza Withdrawal Plan," dated February 29, 2004. The memo describes the risks and opportunities derived from the Israeli withdrawal plan. The memo places its emphasis on the importance of the freezing of Israeli settlements and cessation of hostilities. The memo also describes PA concessions on the building of the Wall - here, the PA insists the construction within the West Bank must be stopped and its course changed to the Green Line.
  • April 6, 2004 - US Lobbyist Memo: Implications of Sharon's Disengagement Initiative
    • Summary: Memorandum from Bannerman & Associates, Inc., a lobbyist firm in Washington, D.C., to various members of Palestinian team including Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, Ahmed Qureia and Saeb Erakat, regarding "Implications of Sharon's Disengagement Initiative," dated April 6, 2004. The memo delivers stark warnings and insight around Sharon's disengagement initiative. The memo is notable for its view that Sharon's plan will drastically slow down the Roadmap, effectively block discussions on withdrawing from the West Bank, further bolster US support for Israel and, overall, will have disastrous implications for PA positions.
  • April 14, 2004 - President George W. Bush's Letter to Ariel Sharon
    • Summary: Letter from President George W. Bush to Ariel Sharon dated April 14, 2004, in which President Bush acknowledges receipt of Sharon's disengagment plan and pledges support to Israel through the peace process; in defending its borders from threats; support for a two-state solution; support for borders as established by UNSC 242 and 338; and his hopes in implementing the roadmap.
  • April 14, 2004 - Ariel Sharon's Letter to President George W. Bush
    • Summary: Letter from Ariel Sharon to President George W. Bush dated April 14, 2004. The letter essentially sets out Sharon's Disengagement Plan, to exist independently from the road map. He reiterates Israel's committment to protecting itself from terror threats; complains about the lack of PA action or leadership to cooperate with; Israel's plan to continue building the wall; and their goals for the Disengagement plan.
  • April 15, 2004 - Letter from Qurei to Kofi Annan Re: Bush-Sharon Press Conference
    • Summary: Letter from PM Ahmed Qurei to UNSG Kofi Annan dated April 15, 2004. The draft letter discusses Bush/Sharon's press conference and voices strong opposition to their statements on Israel's disengagement plan. They indicate the US/Israel plans run contrary to all that has been assured thus far and will further damage the ability of PA to retain control and effectively establish an independent state; most damaging is Israel's insistence on control of land, sea and air space around Gaza. The letter also details key PA issues that Israel has not addressed, refuses to entertain and effectively dismissed with their new plan. The letter calls on support from the Quartet and international leaders to force the US and Israel to negotiate a solution that will work for all parties involved.
  • April 15, 2004 - Ariel Sharon's Israeli Disengagement Plan
    • Summary: Israel's Disengagement Plan dated April 15, 2004 (attachment to Sharon's letter to President Bush). The document outlines the Israeli objectives and plans for withdrawal in Gaza and Northern Samaria. The plan indicates military withdrawal (presence of forces) from target areas but will maintain control over borders, air and sea spaces. Israel will also maintain all current supply and economic agreements with PA.
  • April 15, 2004 - Letter from Qurei to President Bush Re: Reaction to Bush-Sharon Press Conference
    • Summary: Letter from PM Ahmad Queri to President George W. Bush dated April 15, 2004. The draft letter discusses Bush/Sharon's press conference and voices strong opposition to their statements on Israel's disengagement plan. They indicate the US/Israel plans run contrary to all that has been assured thus far and will further damage the ability of PA to retain control and effectively establish an independent state; most damaging is Israel's insistence on control of land, sea and air space around Gaza. The letter also details key PA issues that Israel has not addressed, refuses to entertain and effectively dismissed with their new plan. The letter reiterates that the fundamental issue is not terrorism, but illegal occupation, and urges the US to help find solutions to end the illegal occupation and restore peace.
  • April 15, 2004 - Letter from Qurei to PM Tony Blair Re: Bush-Sharon Press Conference
    • Summary: Letter from PM Ahmad Qurei'a to PM Tony Blair dated April 15, 2004. The draft letter discusses Bush/Sharon's press conference and voices strong opposition to their statements on Israel's disengagement plan. They indicate the US/Israel plans run contrary to all that has been agreed thus far and will further damage the ability of PA to retain control and effectively negotiate desired solutions in the process. The letter also details key PA issues that Israel has not addressed, refuses to entertain and effectively dismissed with their new plan; the letter calls on support from the Quarter and international leaders to force the US and Israel to negotiate a solution that will work for all parties involved.
  • April 17, 2004 - Letter from Saeb Erekat to Kofi Annan Re: Emergency Quartet Meeting
    • Summary: Letter from Saeb Erekat to Kofi Annan regarding the upcoming emergency Quartet meeting, dated April 17, 2004. The letter calls on support from the Quartet to reiterate and clarify their position in the process, and to force the US and Israel to negotiate a lasting solution that will work for all parties involved. The letter also details key PA issues that Israel has not addressed, refuses to entertain or effectively dismissed with their new plan. The PA is critically concerned with any process that will strip them of authority and sovereignty.
  • April 19, 2004 - NSU Internal Briefing - Assessment of Sharon's Gaza Withdrawal Plan
    • Summary: Internal briefing by NSU entitled "Assessment of Sharon's Gaza Withdrawal Plan," dated April 19, 2004. The briefing details PA concerns to both the overall plan and specific language clauses, along with each's implications and related PA priorities. A common theme is the plan's intention to strip the PA of any enforceable authority and sovereignty, both short- and long-term.
  • May 29, 2004 - Internal Email Re: Sharon's Disengagement Plan (Full Text)
    • Summary: Email from Shaddad Attili to NSU staff regarding "Sharon's Disengagement Plan: Full Text," dated May 29, 2004. The email contains the full text of Sharon's disengagement plan with no further commentary.
  • May 31, 2004 - NSU Negotiation Brief - Territorial Links
    • Summary: NSU Negotiation Brief entitled "Land Corridor Between West Bank and Gaza - Concerns and Recommendations," dated May 31, 2004. The brief explains prohibitive cost/maintenance/security concerns over an elevated highway and strongly advcoates that Israel not be credited 3% for permitting construction of corridor. The brief also strongly recommends that PA demand a land corridor with exclusive jurisdiction and no elevation.
  • June 15, 2004 - Working File - Decidable Issues for Borders - Territorial Link between West Bank and Gaza Strip
    • Summary: Working file of memorandum entitled "Decidable Issues for Borders: Territorial Link between West Bank and Gaza Strip," dated June 15, 2004 (handwritten date). The memo includes team member updates, questions and comments - collaborative efforts - in refining the PA position on security, logistical, economic and political/sovereignty issues regarding the territorial link.
  • June 27, 2004 - Meeting Summaries: Erekat with U.S., Egypt and Shimon Peres
    • Summary: Email from Leila Hilal to NSU staff regarding "Meeting today with Dr. Saeb," dated June 27, 2004, that summarizes several recent meetings regarding NSU initiatives. The email includes briefs on: Suleiman and Egypt's involvement; US Meetings (Erekat with Powell where Erekat emphasized elections, freeing Arafat and Egypt's positive role in the withdrawal); Erekat's meeting with Shimon Peres (where Peres details his conversations with Sharon); Erekat's meeting with William Burns (Burns explains US priorities in security); and NSU Gaza presentation to Burns and future trips to the US.
  • August 26, 2004 - Israeli Withdrawal - Unilateral Disengagement to Trilateral Engagement
    • Summary: Document of unspecified origin entitled "Unilateral Disengagement to Trilateral Engagement; Paper 3: Preparing for Israeli withdrawal from Philadelphi, Gaza Airport and Gaza Seaport," dated August 26, 2004. The paper outlines a detailed trilateral engagement plan to allay Sharon's security concerns and in turn encourage full withdrawal of the IDF forces from the three areas of concern. The paper details issues and actionable objectives for the following: threats; security needs in Egypt, Palestinian, border crossings, airport and seaport; Egypt's role; MFO's role; Palestinian role; the international and Quartet role; and proposed timetable.
  • September 1, 2004 - NSU Email Re: Ad Hoc & Task List on AHLC Meeting and ICJ Decision
    • Summary: Internal NSU email from Nisreen Ahmad to LPU, Andrew Kuhn, Myles Bush and Maen Areikat regarding "Ad hoc & task lists," dated September 1, 2004. The email creates a task list, charging various members of the NSU and outside contacts, around two major items: preparing a plan on how the disengagement can fit into the Roadmap in order to engage diplomatic community; and action on enforcement of te ICJ decision. The email also includes various comments from Saeb Erekat including comments on Peres comments re: Sharon, Israeli retractions on security issues discussed with UK and prisoner issues.
  • September 29, 2004 - NSU Memo Re: Disengagement Plan Part of the Roadmap
    • Summary: Memorandum from NSU to Erekat that discusses the important of tying the disengagement process to the Road Map, and using the Quartet as a driving force.  The memo proposes a detailed plan for the disengagement along with implications for each action.
  • October 4, 2004 - Working Paper 2: Disengagement and the Road Map
    • Summary: A paper that covers issues and objectives addressed by Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and International experts in areas including: Economy and Development, Security, Labour, Agriculture, Tourism etc.
  • November 30, 2004 - Talking Points on Detainees and Palestinian Prisoners
    • Summary: This documents describes the status of 870 administrative detainees in IDF detention centers. It also describes the status of the 379 child prisoners detained by Israel and points out policies used by the IDF to justify detaining Palestinians that Israel itself opposed before 1948.
  • November 30, 2004 - P-I Economic and Civilian Coordination Framework
    • Summary: This is a proposed framework for coordinating all economic and civilian matters relating to the implementation of the disengagement plan.
  • November 30, 2004 - Israeli Gaza Withdrawal Plan: Risks and Opportunities
    • Summary: This document analyzes Israel's plan of unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and presents the opportunities, risks, and conditions for success. This document also includes the advantages and disadvantages of PA engagement. The advantages include strengthening the PA’s domestic authority, reactivating US political engagement, avoiding the characterization that there is no partner on the Palestinian side, and reviving the roadmap. Disadvantages include giving a domestic cover to Prime Minister Sharon, and risking Palestinian opposition on the grounds that this legitimizes Sharon’s unilateral disengagement policies.
  • December 22, 2004 - Meeting Minutes: Election Coordination Meeting
    • Summary: This is a brief summary of a meeting between Israeli and PA authorities related to preparations for Palestinian Presidential Elections on January 9, 2005.

Source: Al Jazeera