Nabil Shaath, a former member of the Palestinian negotiations team, admitted Tuesday that secret documents
leaked to the al-Jazeera channel were authentic. Former Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, meanwhile, accused Israel
of "trying to create a rift in the West Bank".
Violating an order issued from Ramallah, Shaath gave an interview to al-Jazeera on Monday night and admitted that the documents were real. "These documents present the PLO stand, and as far as I know al-Jazeera obtained most of the documents we have," he said.
Addressing the major Palestinian concessions revealed in the documents, Shaath said he did not accept them. "I left the negotiations in 1995 because I was unsure about them," he noted. "I cannot judge what has been said and what has not been said. I am interested in the official Palestinian stand which sticks to the refugees' rights and refuses to give up on them."
Dahlan, who was mentioned as one of the people who may have leaked the documents to the Qatari network, broke his silence on Tuesday and pointed a finger at Israel.
According to Dahlan, the memos were "an Israeli attempt to drive a wedge among the Palestinians in order to create a rift in the West Bank, just like what happened in Gaza."
He denied that he had any documents, saying that "these memos are the property of the Palestinian people and not of any individual."
The Palestinian Authority has launched an intensive investigation into the leak. According to estimates, the documents were leaked from the office of chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who said he was willing to be questioned himself.
"I am not above the law and I will have all my staff members questioned in order to discover whether the leak came from my office," he said.
The Palestinian official accused the al-Jazeera network of intentionally distorting the documents and taking them out of context. He added that the Qatari network "encourages the Palestinians to launch a revolt against the Palestinian Authority in order to bring down the political Palestinian government."