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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (5/09): Calls for Public Support

VZCZCXRO9402
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0768/01 1300952
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 090952Z MAY 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1406
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 7100
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4094
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3947
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5445
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3863
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2424

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000768

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 (5/09): CALLS FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT
FOR PALESTINIAN SECURITY FORCE LAW AND ORDER MISSION


-------------
Main Stories:
-------------

The crisis in Lebanon leads coverage in all Palestinian dailies.
Fears of civil war and a Sunni-Shiite conflict are major themes in
the lead stories of Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's main
headline highlights the death of eight people in armed clashes
between pro-government and pro-opposition protesters. U.S. reaction
to the violence in Beirut receives front-page coverage, with
Al-Ayyam quoting White House Spokesman Gordon Johndroe stating that
Hezbollah must stop its, "disruptive activities." Al-Quds cites a
statement by the American Embassy in Beirut advising American
citizens in Lebanon to limit movement and exercise extreme caution.
Palestinian President Abbas' comments on the crisis is also
highlighted on Al-Ayyam's front-page, quoting him as expressing,
"extreme concern" over the violence and urging all sides to
dialogue.

The dailies run highlighted coverage of Palestinian commemorations
of the 60th anniversary of the Nakba (the Catastrophe). The reports
accompany pictures of Palestinians events such as sit-ins,
demonstrations and protest marches that were held in several cities
in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as inside of Israel. The
coverage includes reports on Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad's
participation in commemoration activities in Ramallah. Israel's
60th birthday celebrations receive minimal coverage in the dailies
which instead highlight stories about the investigations into
corruption charges linked to Israeli Prime Minister Olmert.

Al-Ayyam front-pages a report quoting White House National Security
Advisor Steven Hadley's recent press briefing on travel by President
Bush to the region. According to Hadley, President Bush will stress
his commitment to the achievement of a peace agreement between the
Israelis and Palestinians.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that Egypt has agreed to open the Rafah
crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, for three days beginning
May 10. The report also notes that Egypt is coordinating with the
Hamas "government" on the action.

According to Al-Quds' front page, "Israeli police confirmed that
they have moved a police station to the E1 area." The story, citing
the Israeli weekly, Kol Haeer, notes that American officials have in
the past shown opposition to any building in the E1 block because it
would, "threaten the possibility for Palestinian expansion in the
West Bank." Critics of E1 construction claim that the aim of
development is to connect the Israeli settlement Ma'ale Adumim to
Jerusalem, thereby effectively cutting off the northern West Bank
from its southern half.

------------------
Thursday, May 8
------------------

Al-Quds' lead headline states that, "Cairo rejects the Bush
suggestion to hold a summit to discuss the peace process if Olmert
will not be present." The report quotes an Egyptian Foreign
Ministry source confirming that the U.S. has dropped its suggestion
to hold the four-way meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Positive coverage of the visit by Quartet Envoy Tony Blair, to Jenin
on May 7 appears in the dailies. Al-Quds highlights Blair's comment
that, "achieving peace demands serious steps that will improve

JERUSALEM 00000768 002 OF 002


security and the economic situation."

Coverage of American presidential election campaigns appears on the
front pages. Al-Ayyam carries a photo of presidential hopeful Obama
under the title, "democrats are close to nominating Obama."

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

1. Independent Al-Quds runs its daily editorial entitled "Total
support for the security forces"(5/08): "We all know that
Palestinian security forces have started a gradual deployment to
several West Bank cities that faces great difficulty. We also know
that Israeli forces act... as though these Palestinians security
forces do not exist... [these difficulties] do not negate the
importance of the role of Palestinian security forces. On the
contrary, the state of occupation increases chaos and lawlessness...
it also creates an atmosphere that breeds corruption... the role of
Palestinian Authority security forces is more essential now than
ever before. The...[security forces] in Jenin were received with
roses, hope and great expectations by the citizens. They called it
the operation of, "smiles and hope,"... we should all support the
Palestinian security forces... This will have a positive effect on
our cause. We should also stand firm in the face of those who are
seeking to make these efforts fail, regardless of their affiliation
or justifications."

2. Independent Al-Quds runs its daily editorial entitled "The peace
process in impossible circumstances"(5/09): "it is established that
Palestinians want peace. They have chosen a peace settlement
through negotiations as their strategic choice since Madrid... The
problem lies not in the Palestinian position towards the peace
process, but rather in Israel's unilateral actions. It occupies
Palestinian territories, confiscates land for building settlements
and the separation wall which have swallowed up thousands of acres
of Palestinian land in the West Bank... the latest investigations
into [corruption charges against Israeli Premier] Olmert will affect
American efforts towards moving the peace process forward... the
question is how American efforts by Secretary Rice and President
Bush, himself, can move the peace process forward with an almost
paralyzed Israeli government. This is like asking an exhausted
horse to enter a race... "

WALLES

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