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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (04/22): Doubts About

VZCZCXRO4315
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0694/01 1130855
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 220855Z APR 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1261
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 7074
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4065
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3921
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5419
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3829
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2394

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000694

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 (04/22): DOUBTS ABOUT
NEGOTIATIONS, A CHANGED HAMAS?


-------------
Main Stories:
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The lead story in the three dailies quotes Hamas Leader Khaled
Masha'al saying "Hamas will accept a state within the '67 borders
along with a truce, but without recognizing Israel." This runs along
side reports in the three dailies of comments made by former
President Carter stating that in his talks with Hamas, they agreed
to a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders if this is approved
through a national referendum." Other front-page stories quote
Secretary Rice saying "Hamas must renounce violence as a step

SIPDIS
towards showing it actually wants peace."

WAFA news agency reports that the Spokesperson for Palestinian
President Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudaina, said the meeting between
President Abbas and President Bush in Washington "would evaluate and
tackle in detail the process of the Palestinian-Israeli
negotiations." The dailies also carry a DPA story quoting Abu
Rudaina as saying that "negotiations with Israel are going on
without achieving any progress on any issues."

In coverage of events in Gaza, the dailies carry prominent coverage
of the deaths of three Palestinians in Gaza following an Israeli
airstrike on April 21. Related reports state a bombing took place
in Gaza near the Al Dera Tourist hotel. The reports state the
attack was carried out by unknown gunmen who detonated a home-made
bomb. Al Quds also reports that another Gazan died after being
unable to seek medical care outside of Gaza.

Israeli authorities closed the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, Al Quds
reports. This was in order to "secure" the city for settler groups
celebrating Passover, according to the report. The dailies also
note that Israeli authorities have closed the Old City of Jerusalem
for the second day.

President Abbas continued his visit to Tunisia, where he met with
Tunisian President Ben Ali, all papers report. Al-Quds quotes Abbas
saying "we reject postponing negotiations on any of the final status
issues." Other reports quote Ben Ali saying he will exert every
effort to support the Palestinians.

The front page of Al-Quds carries a report on a book published by a
former State Department official, Aaron Miller, entitled "The Much
Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace."
In his book, the report notes, Miller argues that many ethnic
groups have tried to influence U.S. foreign policy, but none have
reached the effectiveness of Jewish Americans.

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

1. Independent Al-Quds carries an op-ed by PLO executive committee
member Tayseer Khaled entitled: "Annapolis conference launched
problematic negotiations and ongoing settlements" that read in part:
"... While it is true that Annapolis brought the two sides,
Palestinians and Israelis, back to negotiations and that it gave
these negotiations one year to reach an absolute solution to the
conflict, widespread average Palestinian and Arab opinion does not
reflect comfort or optimism with this decision for a number of
reasons. One is that this conference set the Roadmap, which was
approved by the Quartet in 2003, as a reference for these
negotiations. It is known that the American government delayed

JERUSALEM 00000694 002 OF 002


adopting the Roadmap for a long time, so as not to let it distract
the invasion of Iraq.... In reality what has been agreed on in
Annapolis is that the parties should go back to the negotiating
table after years of boycotting it, and that they should exert
efforts to reach an agreement even though this requires, according
to Bush's speech, painful compromises on both sides. Taking into
consideration the realities that have been imposed on the ground by
Israel, this is not likely to happen."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries an op-ed by regular columnist Rajab
Abu Sariah, entitled, "Once again... Gaza first" that reads: "...
Even if we are going to question political language, we can say that
Hamas changed its political speech. This was voiced clearly after
Sana'a and after the Damascus summit, and is tied to several
reasons. One of them is the fact that the Israelis have tightened
the siege on Gaza as never before. This put Hamas in a real iron
cage... It is ok [for Hamas] to reach an agreement after a bloody
experience no matter the route, even if it is through a former
American President. [As the saying goes] if one wants grapes, he
should not fight with the guards. In this way things can move
forward towards solutions for all pending issues."

DUFFY

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