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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (04/18): No Military Solution To

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DE RUEHJM #0678/01 1091013
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181013Z APR 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1241
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC//DAS-ZD/DACS-ZK//
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7069
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4060
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3916
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5414
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3824
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2389

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000678

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (04/18): NO MILITARY SOLUTION TO
GAZA ROCKET ATTACKS


JERUSALEM 00000678 001.2 OF 002


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Main Stories:
-------------
The front pages of the dailies report existence of an "Israeli plan
to invade Gaza." Al-Ayyam reports that, "Israel plans to hand over
the Gaza Strip to Egypt or a third party." Dailies also note that,
"Tel Aviv threatened that Hamas will pay a high price," especially
in response to recent killings of Israeli soldiers near Gaza. Al
Quds' front page attributes the threat to a statement by Israeli
Prime Minister Olmert. Meanwhile, all papers report that Hamas
called upon its members, "to target and hit the enemy everywhere.
Al-Ayyam adds that Hamas announced that, "the zero hour for [Gaza]
exploding is coming soon". Reports also continue to highlight the
effects of the fuel shortage in Gaza and run quotes by former
president Carter that describe Israeli actions in Gaza as "a crime
and a savage act."

Front page reports announce that, "Israel heightens security," ahead
of the Passover holiday and will seal its borders with the West Bank
from April 17 to April 27. The front page of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
reports that "Washington is worried about the violence in the Middle
East." Related reports in all papers highlight warnings by the Arab
League about the consequences of Israel's "ethnic cleansing war"
against Palestinians and "hunger policy against Gaza."

The front pages of Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam carry photos of Palestinian
President Abbas during a lecture at the Moscow State Institute of
International Relations on April 17. Abbas said that, "the
conference planned for Moscow in June must rescue the peace
process." The dailies also highlight that Abbas insisted that
"Israel is placing obstacles to the peace process." Citing an AFP
story, Al-Ayyam reports that Abbas stated that, "We have great hopes
that the [Moscow] conference will move the peace process between
Palestinians and Israel forward and that it will lay the ground work
for an overall peace process in all of the Middle East, including
Syria and Lebanon."

All front pages dedicate substantial coverage to "commemorative
ceremonies on Prisoners Day" on April 17. Al Quds documents the
presidential celebration in Ramallah with a photo of Palestinian
Premier Salam Fayyad attending the ceremony. Palestinian President
Abbas said in his remarks that, "there can be no peace agreement
without freeing all prisoners." Al-Quds reprints the entire
transcript of Abbas remarks. The dailies also report on several
public protests and gatherings held throughout the West Bank. Other
inside pages of the dailies report that, "Palestinian children sent
a letter to President Bush and to the world asking them to free
their parents from Israeli jails." A photo of an elderly mother
weeping and carrying a picture of her jailed son appears on the
front page of Al-Ayyam.

The meeting between former President Carter and a Hamas delegation
on April 17 in Cairo attracts front page coverage in all dailies.
Al-Quds front page reports that Carter met with Egyptian President
Mubarak on April 17 and will meet with Syrian President Al-Assad on
April 18. While in Syria, Carter will also meet with Hamas official
Khalid Mash'al, the paper continues. The front page of Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida reports that, "the White House considers the meeting to be
useless." Al-Quds front page also runs a full translation of the
Washington Post April 17 op-ed by former Hamas foreign minister
al-Zahar.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida front pages a photo of Palestinian children
standing with a sign that says, "Don't demolish the kindergarten."

JERUSALEM 00000678 002 OF 002


The protest came as the Israeli high court considers a decision to
demolish parts of the Al-Aqaba village near the northern West Bank
town of Tubas. The Israeli military has urged that houses and a
school be demolished because, "they are located in a military zone".


Citing the wires, the front page of Al-Quds reports on the killing
of 65 Iraqis and injuring of 60 others following an explosion in
Karkuk on April 17.

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------

1. Independent Al-Quds carries an op-ed by Dr. Naji Sharab, a
political science teacher in Gaza, entitled, "What does the world
expect from Palestinians? (04/18):"... the Palestinian question is
the only one that enjoys the support of international declarations
about its rights, including the right to self-determination. Yet,
the international community has worked to prevent Palestinians from
obtaining their rights. Moreover, the international community has
called upon Palestinians to prove that they can practice democracy
with a kind of transparency... that can rarely be found even in
Western democracies. [Despite this demand] Palestinians were
punished for practicing democracy and choosing Hamas, which should
be considered an internal matter [not open to foreign
intervention]... Democratic regimes, primarily the United States,
have not given this show of democracy a chance because it was not to
the benefit of Israel. Therefore, a decision was made to derail it,
first by the siege [economic blockade], then by [military] power and
aggression, and by assassinations and the imprisonment of
parliamentary members...[actions] which historically have not
happened even in the most dictatorial of countries. This is a real
history lesson in how a strong democracy assassinates a weaker
one."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries an op-ed by regular columnist
Muhammad Yaghi, entitled, "Invading Gaza" (04/18)": "... isn't
destroying Hamas really just a call for other more extreme Islamic
movements to come in and replace it? Some people think that Israel
is indifferent [to such a scenario] or that such a development would
serve to better justify Israeli military attacks against
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel might not care, if
Gaza were not on its border, but [attracting more extremist
elements] along the borders of Israel is the last thing that Israel
needs. The Israeli military may think that there is no difference
between Hamas and more extreme Islamic organizations like Al-Qaeda.
But in reality, Hamas has a political leadership that supervises its
military structure and controls it. In the case of Al-Qaeda, it is
more of a militant group that acts alone, on the basis of continuous
warfare... regardless of the costs or methods of fighting. The
issue of Gaza rocket attacks has no military solution. It only has
a political solution; a comprehensive truce in the West Bank and
Gaza, the lifting of the siege and reopening of [Gaza] crossings,
especially Rafah, the exchange of prisoners and acceleration of
political negotiations to end the Israeli occupation of the West
Bank."

Walles

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