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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (5/13): Bush Will Find the Region

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OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0810/01 1340908
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130908Z MAY 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1492
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 7112
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4099
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3952
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5450
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3868
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2430

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000810

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 (5/13): BUSH WILL FIND THE REGION
IN "DESTRUCTIVE CAOS"

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

Talks between Omar Sulayman, head of Egyptian intelligence, and
Israeli Defense Minister Barak win extensive front page coverage in
all dailies. According to the coverage, Sulayman expressed, "high
expectations" for the conclusion of a ceasefire agreement between
Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In related news, WAFA news
agency reports that chief PLO negotiator Sa'eb Erekat urged Israel's
government to cooperate with Egypt on achieving calm in the Gaza
Strip. Erekat also called on Palestinian factions to cooperate with
Egypt, explaining that Egyptian mediation comes at the request of
Palestinian President Abbas, WAFA continues. Meanwhile senior Hamas
leader Mahmoud Zahhar and Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad Al-Hindi,
assert that the Palestinian people have the right to defend
themselves should Israel reject a ceasefire, Ma'an reports. On the
ground, the dailies front page reports that a Palestinian was killed
on May 12 by the Israeli military and a 70-year old Israeli woman
was killed by a homemade shell launched from Gaza on May 12.

Palestinian President Abbas met with Quartet Envoy Tony Blair to
discuss arrangements for the upcoming investment conference in
Bethlehem, the dailies announce. Related stories report that the
Palestinian government has approved emergency projects at a cost of
$16.5 million to assist "Jerusalemites."

Ma'an carries an exclusive report about eleven Palestinian leaders,
mainly businessmen, having lunch with the Israeli Deputy Defense
Minister Matan Vilnai on May 12, in Tel Aviv. The businessmen were
originally invited to meet with Israeli Defense Minister Barak
following a meeting they had with the Israeli economic coordinator
at his West Bank Bet El liaison office near Ramallah. The meeting
focused on a plan for an industrial zone in the West Bank between
the cities of Nablus and Ramallah.

Jerusalem area settlement expansion is again in the news: Front
pages report on an Israeli plan to build 150 new housing units in
Gilo, in the southern part of Jerusalem. According to Al-Quds's
front page, future plans for Gilo include construction of 10,000 new
houses.

Reporting on the Lebanon crisis continues on front pages. Reporting
remains factual, focusing on an uneasy calm that has settled over
Lebanon.

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

1. Independent Al-Quds carries an op-ed by Tayseer Khaled, member
of the PLO Executive Committee and the Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine entitled, "The commemoration of the
catastrophe is the wrong time to visit" (5/13): "President Bush is
on his way to the region, which is experiencing [historically]
unstable days. The President might look around; if he does he will
find right before his eyes, the reasons for the region's
constructive chaos, which ultimately, has resulted in a destructive
chaos and has caused huge fires that are out of control... the guest
President will not feel the shock of the Palestinian reality nor be
affected by the circumstances of the siege under which the people of
Gaza are living... the President is on his way to the region and he
realizes that the situation is extremely dangerous and that the
consequences for world security and stability are tremendous... Bush

JERUSALEM 00000810 002 OF 002


has nothing to offer, even for the peace process that was launched
in Annapolis..."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries an op-ed by veteran columnist
Muhanned Abdulmajed entitled, "Hezbollah: a regional coup" (5/13): "
Since the moment that Israel stopped launching rockets after the
summer war of 2006, many observers predicted that the outcome of the
war would leave its mark on Lebanon's internal matters... what is
happening in Lebanon symbolizes an extreme scenario of the future
for the whole Middle East... at this time, the Arab community is
unable to end internal Lebanese conflict through an agreement.
Therefore, it is more likely that the situation will continue to
deteriorate...until international forces can interfere and resolve
it... "

WALLES

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