Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:20am EST
(Reuters) – The leaking of diplomatic Palestinian papers by the Al-Jazeera news station this week has coincided with the release of excerpts from the memoir of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Taken together, the two sources show how Israelis and Palestinians appeared to inch toward a comprehensive peace accord. However, a deal never materialized and analysts see little hope of further significant progress for now.
Here are the positions of both sides on the core issues as described in Olmert’s memoirs and the Al Jazeera documents.
Palestinians’ summary of an Olmert offer made to them in August 2008 says Israel would annex 6.8 percent of the West Bank, including the four main settlement blocs of Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, and Ariel, as well as all of the settlements in East Jerusalem (with Har Homa), in exchange for the equivalent of 5.5 percent from Israeli territory.
Olmert writes in his memoirs that he wanted to annex 6.3 percent of the West Bank. In return he said the Palestinians would get 5.8 percent of Israeli territory — areas in the north of Israel, the Judean desert and an area adjacent to Gaza.
According to the minutes of a meeting between Israel, the Palestinians and the U.S. in June 2008, the Palestinians said Israel could annex all Jewish settlements around Jerusalem bar Har Homa. At another point they proposed the geographical division of Jerusalem’s Old City, with Israel keeping control of the Jewish Quarter and “part of the Armenian Quarter.”
Olmert says that the Jewish neighborhoods built in Jerusalem on land annexed after a 1967 war would remain under Israeli sovereignty. The Arab neighborhoods would be part of the Palestinian state. The Old City Holy Basin would be under the care of five states — Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Israel and the United States.
Olmert’s memoirs say Israel offered in September 2008 to absorb refugees on an individual humanitarian basis, not on the basis of family unification. For a period of 5 years, 1,000 Palestinians a year would be absorbed into Israel. This was on condition that the Palestinians committed in writing that this move ended their demands re refugees. Israel and the Palestinians would each acknowledge the suffering of the other side.
A leaked transcript of a meeting between Erekat and his staff in June 2009 quotes Erekat as saying that Olmert had at the time accepted double the amount stated in his memoirs — a total of 10,000 refugees, 1,000 annually over ten years.
Olmert memoirs: The border between Palestine and Jordan will be manned by a military presence, Olmert does not say which military.
The Palestinians summary of Olmert’s August offer does not mention security. At one point, the Palestinians suggest in passing that German forces could patrol the Jordan border.