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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (6/13): An "Apology" From Bush To

VZCZCXRO8425
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1008/01 1650823
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130823Z JUN 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1800
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 7158
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4145
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3998
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5496
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3914
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2476

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001008

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 (6/13): AN "APOLOGY" FROM BUSH TO
LOWER EXPECTATIONS


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Main Stories:
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Front pages prominently report on, "a bloody day in Gaza," when 14
Palestinians were killed on June 12. Seven were killed in, "a
mysterious explosion" at a Beit Lahiyya home in the northern Gaza
Strip. The dailies also report that another 45 Palestinians were
injured in the same accident. The three dailies lead with photos of
the demolished area with hundreds of people standing on the ruins.
An additional seven Palestinians where killed in an Israeli air
strike on the same day. Related coverage in all dailies highlights
chief PLO negotiator Erekat commenting on June 11 that, "any
large-scale Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip would destroy
the peace process and push the region and its peoples into further
violence, chaos and bloodshed."

Egyptian mediation efforts to forge a truce between Hamas and Israel
are front page news. According to Al-Quds, "Cairo received a
positive Israeli response to the truce proposal." In contrast,
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida runs Israeli opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu
comments from a DPA story, urging the Israeli Government to, "attack
Gaza by land, air and sea." Finally, Khalil Abu Layla, a Hamas
leader in Gaza, told Palestinian media outlets on June 12 that, "any
Israeli invasion of Gaza will be no picnic for the Israelis."

The visit of Palestinian Premier Fayyad to Turkey gets front page
billing in all dailies. According to Al-Quds, Fayyad is trying to
create a, "new way of thinking" among ordinary people. The dailies
highlight that Fayyad praised Turkish heritage and culture and
discussed ways of supporting the Palestinian economy with the
Turkish leaders.

Reports on internal Palestinian efforts at reconciliation between
Fatah and Hamas feature on all front pages. According to Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida, Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad stated in a speech in
Turkey on June 12 that, "restoring unity is among our top
priorities."

Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida frontpage stories about the June 12
sentencing of three Hamas members by a Jordanian military court.
The members were sentenced to five to 15 years in prison on charges
of attacking an Israeli businessman, a Jordanian intelligence
officer, and other targets.

Citing the German wire DPA, Al-Quds' inside page reports that
General Jones reiterated U.S. commitment to security in the Middle
East. His comments came after a meeting with the Egyptian Foreign
Minister on June 12 in Cairo.

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

1. Independent Al-Quds runs its daily editorial under the headline,
"The status of Bush's vision" (6/12): "... Bush has six more months
in the White House. Let's assume that the American President and
his team have made every possible effort to make progress on the
Road map, meanwhile the Israelis, especially [Premier] Ehud Olmert,
could exit the political arena at any second, leaving Israel in the
midst of ... Kadima party elections and [early] parliamentary
elections... So, who will be in charge of negotiations and the
peaceful settlement portfolio if Olmert leaves office? Even if he
does stay, there is agreement among Israelis that Olmert is not

JERUSALEM 00001008 002 OF 002


qualified or even able to achieve a peace agreement with the
Palestinians or the Syrians... when Bush said at the end of his
European tour that he will, until his last day in office, continue
his efforts to achieve peace in the region, [he was recognizing
current] ... realities and lowering expectations for
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to that of a goal of merely
producing some kind of declaration of principles, without dealing
with details. In his statement, Bush is giving a kind of diplomatic
apology before the [last] possibilities of reaching an agreement and
implementing his famous vision vanish..."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries an op-ed by columnist Samih Sh'bayb
entitled, "Internal dialogue... possible mechanisms" (6/12): "It was
clear from the [Palestinian] presidential initiative for internal
talks, that Palestinian efforts will be made within a greater Arab
framework that will pave the way for talks and their success. These
efforts have already produced a... quick outcome in the official
declaration of Egypt as the host for the talks... there are some
[additional] efforts by both Hamas and Islamic Jihad to conduct
these talks under Arab sponsorship, especially the sponsorship of
the Arab League... it looks like everything is ready to launch
dialogue and tackle all problematic and complicated issues..."
WALLES

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