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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (6/06): Unity Talks Cannot

VZCZCXRO3019
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0977/01 1581151
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061151Z JUN 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1750
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 7150
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4137
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3990
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5488
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3906
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2468

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000977

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 (6/06): UNITY TALKS CANNOT
SUBSTITUTE FOR A POLITICAL PROGRAM


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

All dailies carry extensive front page coverage and photos of the
killing of a four-year old girl in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza
Strip on June 5. The dailies report that another civilian was also
killed during a military operation in Gaza Strip. All dailies carry
"threats" made by Israeli Defense Minister Barak that, "a military
operation in the Gaza Strip is closer now than at any other time in
the past." The dailies also report that an Israeli was killed and
five others injured after a rocket was launched from Gaza into Nar
Oz settlement.

The dailies carry positive coverage of the "decision" made by
Palestinian President Abbas to form a committee to, "follow up on
implementation of his announcement on dialogue with Hamas." Dailies
also report that Hamas leader Ismael Haniyah, "welcomed the idea."
Al-Quds carries an AFP story stating that, "the United States does
not oppose talks between Fatah and Hamas." Al-Quds also reveals the
existence of an, "unwritten agreement between Abbas and Hamas leader
Al-Zahhar, reached through Qatari mediation and Syrian support."
The "agreement" is comprised of 18 points, including Hamas'
acceptance of early Palestinian elections.

The front pages of the dailies report that Palestinian President
Abbas and Secretary Rice discussed developments in the peace process
and Israeli settlement expansion in a June 5 telephone call.
According to the coverage, Abbas demanded that Rice work to end
Israeli settlement activities, including natural growth and push for
implementation of the Road Map. He confirmed Palestinian commitment
to relevant international legal decisions, the Road Map plan,
President Bush's vision for a Palestinian state and the Arab peace
initiative, according to WAFA News Agency. Al-Quds reports comments
by Palestinian negotiator Sa'eb Erekat that allude to Barak Obama's
AIPAC address, stating, "whoever considers Jerusalem to be the
united capital of Israel closes the doors to peace."

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

1. Veteran columnist Mohammad Yaghi comments in independent Al-Ayyam
under the headline, "Dialogue is primarily about the political
agenda" (6/6): "President Abbas' invitation to start a national
dialogue and end the state of division is very timely. There is a
belief in Ramallah that Israel is not interested in a peace process
that would end the occupation, and that the promises made by
President Bush about a Palestinian state have never been truthful...
this understanding was created by the acceleration of settlements in
Jerusalem, despite the boring talks about peace post-Annapolis; by
the immortalization of military barriers despite the talks about
'investment'; and by the continued invasions of Palestinian cities
despite the efforts exerted by Palestinian security forces to
implement the Roadmap... There are three issues that must be
endorsed by (Fatah and Hamas) before [talking] about details:
First, both should admit the futility of one side trying to
[dominate] the other,... Secondly, national unity, despite its
importance and necessity, is not an alternative to a political
program outlining the goals of the Palestinian people, ... Thirdly,
it is not acceptable to any Palestinian party for Israel to export
its [internal political] crisis to the Palestinian house."

2. Under Al Quds' main editorial entitled, "Demolishing houses...

JERUSALEM 00000977 002 OF 002


with the international community's stamp of approval,"(6/6): "Hardly
a day passes by without the Palestinian media reporting on
Palestinian houses being demolished by the Israeli authorities in
Jerusalem, its periphery and the West Bank, or of reports about
[demolition] threats and warnings issued to hundreds, probably
thousands of home-owners... This is accompanied by endless
announcements for plans to build thousands of housing units in
Jewish settlements on land occupied since the 1967 June war
[despite] Security Council resolutions 242 and 338... This
phenomenon [of Israeli violations] ... should not be allowed to pass
unnoticed... remaining silent on this policy, is not acceptable. It
is the duty of concerned Palestinians, Arab and European parties and
all other friendly nations interested in easing Palestinian
suffering to act decisively in bringing this issue before
international organizations."

WALLES

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