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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (04/15): Palestinian Gratitude To

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O 151010Z APR 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1199
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7063
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4054
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3910
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5408
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3818
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2383

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STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR ABRAMS
CMC WASHINGTON DC FOR POLAD

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LONDON FOR HKANONA AND POL - TSOU
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (04/15): PALESTINIAN GRATITUDE TO
EGYPT


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Main Stories:
-------------
Photos of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation signing
ceremony on April 14 in Ramallah are the lead photos on all front
pages. Positive coverage of the $500 million housing mortgage loan
program follows with excerpts of remarks by Palestinian President
Abbas noting that, "the modern state is built of several basic
components of which security and the economy are the most
important." Abbas added more political commentary, insisting that,
"there are no issues to be delayed in negotiations, and we are
making every effort to achieve a truce [with Israel] and end the
[Gaza] siege."

Official daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida runs a large photo of a confident
Palestinian President Abbas chairing a meeting with relaxed
Palestinian Authority ministers and a smiling Prime Minister Fayyad
on an inside page. All dailies cover the story of Abbas attendance
at the meeting. Al Quds front page reports that Abbas asserted in
statements to the press that the Fayyad Government, "enjoys the full
support and backing" of the Presidency. Other front-page articles
carry remarks from an April 14 Ramallah press conference by Minister
of Foreign Affairs and Information Riad Malki, in which he confirms
that Abbas conveyed to Fayyad his full confidence in the Government.
Malki added that Abbas urged ministers not to heed criticism by a
few voices, mostly motivated by personal agendas. Malki concluded
that Abbas recalled similar difficulties and pressures that he had
to deal with when he was prime minister. Finally, Al Quds front
page alludes internal Fatah power struggles in a quote by Fatah
member Qadora Faris asserting that, "the Fatah crisis is an internal
one and has nothing to do with Fayyad's government."


Positive coverage on the agreement between the Palestinian
Government and the public employees union continues. The reporting
notes that the government will pay a 50% increase in salaries as
well as back-pay in exchange for an end to the threat of strikes.
Teachers who conducted a recent strike will not be docked pay, the
coverage concluded.

The visit of former president Carter continues to capture front-page
headlines. The dailies run a Reuters report, highlighting comments
by Carter that discussions with Syria and Hamas should be part of
any future peace agreement.

The dailies report that Afif Safia, previous head of the PLO mission
in Washington, has been reassigned as Palestinian Authority
ambassador to Russia.

The meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Livni and other Arab
leaders and officials in Qatar is still front page news. The papers
report that Livni met with the Omani foreign minister for the first
time and commented on April 14 that, "the Gaza Strip is an obstacle
to the establishment of a Palestinian State." In other Gaza news,
the dailies report that Israel has decided to resume delivery of
fuel to Gaza and that UNRWA has begun cash assistance to Gaza
families.

The front page of Al-Quds cites a Reuters story about an opinion
poll showing that the Arab world has a "black" view of the United
States. According to the poll conducted by Maryland University, 80%
of interviewees had a negative image of the US. Interviewees
included 4,000 residents of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan,
Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. The poll also showed that

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most of Arabs interviewed do not consider Iran to be the greatest
enemy of the US, and showed greater approval for Hamas than Fatah.
Most interviewed viewed Fatah as "backed by the US."

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BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. Al-Quds independent carries an op-ed entitled, "Egypt's
security, its control and authority over its territory is a red line
[non-negotiable] for Palestinians" by Palestinian National Council
Member Hatem Abu Shaban (4/15): Lately, we have been hearing
strange noises from Palestinian groups calling for a breach and
invasion of the international border between Egypt and Palestine,
claiming that this is the way to end the siege imposed on Gaza....
Egypt was and still is a warm [hospitable] place for Palestinians in
general, specifically for Gazans. Egypt has protected Gaza for a
long time and defended it and its national rights in many battles
and military confrontations and has fought for Palestinian rights in
the international arena. Palestinians... will never be able to repay
even the smallest part of what Egypt has done for them... Everyone
should recognize that Egypt's territorial sovereignty and its
security is a red line [non-negotiable] for Palestinians and we will
not allow anyone to overstep this line for any reason."
2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries an op-ed entitled, "The
independence that causes a catastrophe!" (4/15): "Two totally
contradictory things: catastrophe and independence; one a day for
sadness and the other for happiness; poverty and riches; a strong
economy and a very fragile one; huge military arsenals and nuclear
bombs... Palestine is disappearing while Israel is rising. Israel
is superior in many things, but the Palestinians are supreme in one
thing: asking for their legitimate rights in the face of an Israeli
colonial power... is it possible to adjust the balance between the
two contradictions to escape the elimination of a ...powerless
people by a powerful state? This question has been asked for the
past 60 years and Israel's answer is always: no."
Walles

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