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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (6/11): Positive Reaction To

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DE RUEHJM #0993/01 1630947
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110947Z JUN 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1780
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 7154
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4141
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3994
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5492
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3910
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2472

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000993

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 (6/11): POSITIVE REACTION TO
ABBAS' CALL FOR NATIONAL DIALOGUE


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Main Stories:
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Al-Quds' front page leads with an architect's rendering of a new
Israeli neighborhood to be built in East Jerusalem's Ras al-Amud,
near the Dome of the Rock mosque. According to Al-Quds, the
construction is part of the Israeli, "campaign to Judanize the area
around the mosque." According to the dailies, an unnamed
Palestinian Authority official criticized the plan and stated that
it will, "negatively affect" the peace process. The official also
invited observers to note the timing of the news just before the
visit of Secretary Rice to the region. In related news, the front
pages highlight that, "Israeli authorities demolished three houses
in the Jerusalem area on June 10 because they lacked building
permits."

Front pages run a June 10 interview with Palestinian Premier Fayyad.
Al-Quds reports Fayyad commenting that, "the siege on Gaza is a
'huge headache' and we are making every effort to end it." Al-Ayyam
reports that Fayyad states, "the priority is to halt settlement
activity," adding that, "reaching an agreement will not be possible
this year." Al-Hayat Al-Jadida focuses on Fayyad's call to, "form a
'temporary' national government that will include all parties until
early elections are held." All papers note that Fayyad explained
that if tax revenues are transferred by the Israelis to the
Palestinian Authority, salaries for May will be paid to 150,000
civil servants.

In foreign assistance news, the dailies note that the EU approved 23
million Euros in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority which was
used on June 10 to pay pensions and salaries to 73,000 Palestinians.
Papers also carry positive coverage of a June 10 agreement between
Palestinian Premier Fayyad and the World Bank for $40 million of
assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

Headlines in all dailies announce that Egypt will "soon" host talks
among Palestinian parties. The dailies quote Hamas leader Khaled
Masha'al confirming that Hamas representatives recently met with
other Palestinian factions in Damascus to discuss Palestinian
reconciliation. Meanwhile, reporting about a possible Israeli
military operation in the Gaza Strip continues to capture headlines.
Papers note that the Israeli Government is still discussing the
option. Related front page coverage reports that three "Palestinian
activists" were killed in two separate Israeli operations targeting
Gaza City on June 10.

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BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------
1. Al-Ayyam carries an op-ed by veteran columnist Hamada Faranah
entitled, "Abu Mazen [Abbas] will stay his course" (6/11): "...The
power of Abu Mazen lies in the clarity of his positions regarding
what he considers to be in the true interest of his people.
Therefore, he did not hesitate to state that he wants Hamas to be a
partner in Palestinian decision making... Abu Mazen wants Hamas to
play a constructive role [in supporting the goals of] the
Palestinians. He is also trying to rescue it from its extreme
leadership, because as he said, it is a major part of the
Palestinian people and many people trust it..."
2. Izzat Daraghmah commented in official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida under
the title, "President [Abbas'] initiative is a victory for the
[Palestinian] People," (6/11): "No one can disparage the integrity
and good intentions of President Abbas in his attempt to restore the

JERUSALEM 00000993 002 OF 002


situation in Gaza to the time before June of last year. Likewise,
no one can deny that the President's initiative [for national
reconciliation with Hamas] has angered the American administration
and leaders of the Israeli occupation.... What is needed now from
everyone is resistance to American and Israeli pressure as well as
to the attempts by any parties and countries... that only care about
their own interests and agendas. Only then will the Palestinian
people breathe a sigh of relief and feel hopeful about the success
of dialogue and reconciliation among [the Palestinian factions.]"

WALLES

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