Palestinians ask foreign help to probe leaks

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Palestinian officials said on Thursday they have asked Britain, France and the United States for help in investigating people from those countries it believes may have leaked hundreds of documents to Al-Jazeera.

"We have asked those countries to examine legal avenues that would allow those individuals to be brought over," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.

Erakat did not name the trio, who the Palestinians claim come from Britain, France and the United States.

Other Palestinian officials have said the Frenchman had worked in the Palestinian negotiations department, while the Briton, a former intelligence officer, and the American had in-depth knowledge of the negotiating process.

The leak of over 1,600 documents to the television station has roiled the Palestinian Authority, revealing that they offered Israel far-reaching concessions on the sensitive subjects of Jerusalem and refugees during peace talks.

In the West Bank, demonstrators have offered their support for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Erakat, who appears frequently throughout the documents.

But in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, demonstrations have been held in support of Al-Jazeera, criticising Abbas for "collaborating" with Israel.'

© 2011 AFP

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