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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3582/01 3541059
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201059Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4685
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEADWD/DA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 3170
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9834
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3339
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3942
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3189
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1313
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3923
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0778
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1249
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7817
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5283
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0196
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4329
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6272
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8672
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003582

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR NEA STAFF

SECDEF WASHDC FOR USDP/ASD-PA/ASD-ISA
HQ USAF FOR XOXX
DA WASHDC FOR SASA
JOINT STAFF WASHDC FOR PA
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL FOR POLAD/USIA ADVISOR
COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE FOR PAO/POLAD
COMSIXTHFLT FOR 019

JERUSALEM ALSO ICD
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION


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SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
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Mideast

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Key Stories in the Media:
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PLEASE NOTE: Block Quotes only, Thursday, December 20, 2007.

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Mideast:
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Summary:
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Senior military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "It is no coincidence
that Israel chose to intensify the targeted killings on the eve of
the Eid al-Adha. It rubs more salt into the wounds. The despair
and the feeling of being strangled is only growing deeper among the
Gaza Strip's inhabitants."

Block Quotes:
-------------

I. "A Leader in Distress"

Senior military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (12/20): "The calm that
prevailed in the Gaza Strip over the past two days is not
coincidental. Hamas operatives are making a concerted effort to try
to convince all the militant groups in Islamic Jihad and in the
Popular Resistance Committees to lower their profiles and wait with
'the great vengeance.' At the same time, Ismail Haniya is issuing a
public call that Israel sees as authentic, for a cease-fire. For
its part, Israel is not taking up the gauntlet. Are we missing
another historic opportunity? The answer: regrettably, no. This is
not an opportunity; it is, once more, a tactic.... Haniya's call is
more the call of a political leader in distress. Unlike Hamas's
generals, this is a political leader who is reading the
political-regional picture and the mood of the public that elected
him.... It is no coincidence that Israel chose to intensify the
targeted killings on the eve of the Eid al-Adha. It rubs more salt
into the wounds. The despair and the feeling of being strangled is
only growing deeper among the Gaza Strip's inhabitants. Haniya
wants to stop that deterioration, at least temporarily. So he
suggests stopping, taking a breath, giving hope, organizing some
more. But Israel does not intend to throw Haniya a life preserver."


II. "Hamas's 'Offer'"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/20):
"The IDF's successful operations against Islamic Jihad's top
terrorists in Gaza have sparked calls from Hamas for negotiations
and speculation over whether a massive ground operation against
Hamas can be avoided after all. We've been through this movie.... It
would be foolish for Israel to let up the military pressure against
the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza now. Despite the talk in Hamas
and Islamic Jihad of 'revenge,' increased Israeli military pressure
on the killers and their dispatchers will not lead to more
terrorism, but less.... If the IDF's military successes continue, it
is possible that a lasting cease-fire could ensue, even without a
massive ground operation in Gaza.

III. "Building a Dispute in Jerusalem"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (12/20): "The
construction of a neighborhood of this size [the plan to build a new
neighborhood in the Atarot area IN Jerusalem] has clear political
ramifications. It will make it very difficult to implement any
arrangement to divide Jerusalem between Israel and the future
Palestinian state.... The question of Jerusalem is an essential one
for the future of any arrangement with the Palestinians. Without an
acceptable arrangement in Jerusalem, Mahmoud Abbas cannot sign an
agreement even if he wants to. The Arab and the Muslim world will
not let him. The feeling is that officials on the Israeli side who
understand this sensitivity see in it the potential to undermine any
arrangement with the Palestinians by creating a new controversy in
Jerusalem. The assumption of these officials seems to be that most
Israelis view construction in Jerusalem as a natural thing, while
for Palestinians it could be a reason to break off the negotiations.
Even if additional housing is needed, solutions should be found by
building more densely and higher, as accepted in cities elsewhere in
the world."
JONES

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