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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (6/26): Arab Unity Important To

VZCZCXRO3693
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1094/01 1781035
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261035Z JUN 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1916
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 7178
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4165
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4018
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5516
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3934
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2498

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001094

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 (6/26): ARAB UNITY IMPORTANT TO
PALESTINIAN CAUSE

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

The effects of the closure of Gaza border crossings attract front
page coverage in the three dailies. Papers report that commercial
crossings were closed by Israel on June 24 in response to a rocket
attack by Islamic Jihad. The closure will prevent the entry of
goods and fuel, just one day after Israel had allowed for an
increase of goods into Gaza, reporting notes. Al Quds highlights
that Gazans needing urgent medical care were allowed to cross into
Egypt through the Rafah crossing point, in accordance with the truce
agreement. The paper also reports that Hamas is refuting Israeli
claims that Egypt has linked greater opening of the Rafah crossing
point to the release of Israeli soldier Shalit. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
adds that Hamas says that it will not back down from its
preconditions for release of Shalit.

Front pages report that Hamas has asked Egypt to intervene with
relevant parties to ensure the continuation of the Hamas/Israel
truce in the Gaza Strip. According to coverage, Islamic Jihad told
AFP that the group intends to honor the truce, "as long as Israel
does not violate it." In related news, front pages report on the
formation of a crisis cell by Hamas in Gaza to follow issues related
to the truce. The new entity will monitor Israeli violations and
includes representatives of all Palestinian factions, according to
the dailies.

In a statement released to the press, Palestinian Authority
President Mahmud Abbas emphasized his commitment to internal
reconciliation talks and stressed that he will not allow any
regional or international party to "veto" the talks that seek to
unite Palestinian factions. Abbas continued that, "as soon as the
Hamas movement commits itself to national legitimacy and the
national program, no obstacles to solidarity will remain," the three
dailies report. In related news, Al-Quds reports that Hamas denies
any internal division within its movement.

All dailies report that Egyptian security forces have uncovered
seven tunnels along its border with the Gaza Strip. The tunnels
were used for smuggling and pumping fuel into Gaza, the papers say.
Front pages also highlight that an Egyptian official confirmed that
11 packs of marijuana were also found.

The daily media reporting on Israeli incursions and arrests includes
a report by WAFA News Agency that Israeli Defense Forces "invaded"
Janin and Qabatya cities in the northern West Bank on June 26, but
made no arrests. The news agency also reports that Nablus city and
nearby Ayn Bayt al-Ma' refugee camp were "invaded" and two youths
arrested. Al- Ayyam's front page briefly reports on clashes in the
West Bank town of Taqu'a near Bethlehem between Israeli soldiers and
Palestinians. The paper also notes the arrest by Israelis of a
Palestinian in the West Bank city of Hebron.

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. Al- Quds prints its daily editorial entitled, "Jerusalem, the
capital of the Palestinian State, not American merchandise" (6/26):
We were truly shocked by [Barak Obama's] statement about Jerusalem,
and by his assertion that Jerusalem will remain the capital of
Israel and should remain undivided... With this [Obama] declared
war on the Arab Palestinian people's right to self-determination and
the right of Muslims and Arabs all over the world [to the Arabic

JERUSALEM 00001094 002 OF 002


heritage of] Jerusalem... naturally, [Obama's] statement was met
with denunciations and resentment from all Arab and Islamic
quarters, which led Obama to make a new statement explaining that
Jerusalem is an issue for both parties of the conflict to resolve...
Without the resentment conveyed to Obama about his first statements,
he would not have been forced to back down on his harsh first
statement... this retreat...shows that Arabs and Muslims are capable
of achieving victory ...if they unite over the Jerusalem cause. And
they are capable of forcing Israel's allies...to swallow their
imbalanced statements...

2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries an op-ed- by Dr. Abdul Majid
Swaylim entitled, "Sarkozy, the temporary friend of both sides"
(6/26): Sarkozy knows that the whole Arab and Islamic world might
extend diplomatic relations to Israel if [Israel] gives up on
expansion, aggression, isolation and its separation policy... At the
Knesset, Sarkozy reiterated his special friendship with
Israel,...but he also sent us a new message of friendship when he
talked about all or at least some of our rights. What is important
to us is that Sarkozy, who was brave in his attitudes, will
translate his words into action... to push Europe to play a dynamic
role of pressuring [Israel] to move towards peace. We also expect,
whether old McCain or black Obama moves into the White House, that
[Sarkozy] will pursue his own [not America's] policies ...President
Sarkozy cannot be a permanent friend neither to us nor to Israel
because Israel will soon find out that Sarkozy is not a, 'suitable'
friend if he insists on these positions... However, if he deserts
his brave attitudes that support our rights, we will not regret the
short friendship...

Walles

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