The recent leak of top-secret documents – now known as ‘The Palestine Papers’ for dramatic effect – has brought the Middle East to peace process to its knees. Over 16,000 confidential transcripts from a decade of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations have shed new light on the diplomatic impasse. The Pan-Arabia Enquirer has been given an exclusive batch of the documents and can reveal some startling facts that should send further shockwaves across the region. We will be updating this post with further revelations as they come in.
– Israeli doctors tried to wake Ariel Sharon from his coma by playing recordings of Yasser Arafat’s landmark 1974 speech to the UN.
– Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat offered Israel “all of Yemen” in unprecedented territorial compromise.
– The Israel delegation warned that Erekat’s “see you later” after a mobile phone conversation with Ehud Barak did not constitute a formal acceptance of further bridging talks.
– Talks were delayed for three days after Israel rejected Palestinian proposals for lunchtime sandwiches.
– The chief Israeli negotiator agreed all the demands of the Palestinian delegation, held out his hand to shake on the deal and then, at the very last second, pulled it away claiming that it was just a ‘joke’.
– A minor diplomatic spat was caused in 2007 when Palestinian delegate Nabil Shaath asked for Tzipi Livni’s autograph, mistaking her for Steffi Graf.
– Israel offered Palestine “exclusive fishing rights” to the Dead Sea.
– One Israel negotiator, when ordering pizzas as the peace talks carried on into the night, “intentionally” ordered a ham and pineapple pizza for the Palestinian delegation, then “hid the tissues” when they went to pick out the meat.
– In a rare moment of cordiality, all sides agreed that Israeli spokesman Mark Regev is a “loathsome slimeball”.
– Avigdor Lieberman once referred to the Haram al-Sharif as “you know, that big shiny gold thing” during a heated debate on Jerusalem’s holy sites.
– Palestinian negotiators “not that bothered” about Gaza.