Palestinian negotiator Erakat quits due to WikiLeaks

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat tendered his resignation today amid deadlock in efforts to renew peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian official said.

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2011, 23:51 PM IST

Ramallah: Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat tendered his
resignation today amid deadlock in efforts to renew peace
talks with Israel, a Palestinian official said.

Erakat told he was stepping down because of his
responsibility for WikiLeaks disclosures, shortly after his
resignation was announced by senior PLO Yasser Abed Rabbo.

The chief negotiator said he was assuming
"responsibility for the theft of documents from his office"
that he said had been "deliberately" tampered with.

Last month, Erakat accused Al-Jazeera of taking part
in a campaign to overthrow the Palestinian Authority (PA)
after the Doha-based television began to release a cache of
confidential documents known as "The Palestine Papers."

The files, made available to Al-Jazeera and Britain`s
Guardian daily by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, expose
concessions to Israel in 10 years of secret peace talks,
embarrassing and angering the Palestinian leadership.

Erakat at the time accused Al-Jazeera of trying
provoke his people into "a revolution against their leaders in
order to bring down the Palestinian political system."

He pointed to a possible US-Israeli effort to topple
the PA because of its refusal to take part in US-brokered
direct peace talks unless the Jewish state halts West Bank
settlement construction.

PTI