13 Feb 2011

Resignation submitted by Erekat

10:10 am on 13 February 2011

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, who led several rounds of peace talks with Israel has submitted his resignation.

He previously said he would quit if it emerged that confidential files recently leaked on the Middle East peace process, came from his office.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has yet to accept.

The BBC reports it is not the first time Mr Erekat has offered to stand down.

In January the al-Jazeera TV network issued details of about 1600 confidential documents detailing Palestinian negotiating positions.

The files suggested the Palestinians were ready to make big concessions, despite public claims to the contrary.

In response, Mr Erekat admitted some of the material appeared genuine, and said the release by al-Jazeera had put his life in danger.

New poll

Meanwhile, an Abbas aide said elections would be held by September.

The last time the Palestinians voted, in 2006, Hamas emerged as the biggest winner in a parliamentary ballot.

Hamas eventually took control of the Gaza Strip, while Fatah runs the West Bank.