Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat on Wednesday said that a former CIA agent and a former EU official were responsible for leaking the "Palestine Papers." Erekat's comments came in an interview aired on the Al-Jazeera television network.
Erekat claimed US citizen Clayton Swisher and British citizen Alastair Crooke were responsible for leaking the documents to Al-Jazeera. Swisher used to work in Erekat's office but left after six months and began working at Al-Jazeera. Crooke once served as the EU's security coordinator on the settlements.
Erekat said that he had demanded the US State Department investigate the leak.
On Monday a PA security source told The Jerusalem Post that one or two employees working for the PLO Negotiations Department were suspected of leaking the secret maps, charts and documents to the Al-Jazeera TV network. Palestinian security forces have interrogated a number of workers at the department, which is headed by Erekat, the source revealed.
According to the source, it is “premature” to determine whether former Fatah security commander Muhammad Dahlan was involved in the scandal. However, a number of Fatah and PA officials in Ramallah said that Dahlan – who has been at loggerheads with PA President Mahmoud Abbas for the past few months – was the prime suspect.
They claimed Dahlan, who has been accused of planning to overthrow the PA leadership, had leaked the documents to embarrass and discredit Abbas and his top negotiators.