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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/01): Hamas at a Crossroads -

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011101Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1959
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
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RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4171
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4024
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5522
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3940
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2504

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001135

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 (7/01): HAMAS AT A CROSSROADS -
RESISTANCE OR GOVERNANCE

JERUSALEM 00001135 001.2 OF 002


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Main Stories:
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The planned release of Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar and other
Palestinian prisoners by Israel attracts front page coverage in the
three dailies. The prisoners' swap deal with Hizbollah, papers
explain, also includes the handover of the remains of 200
Palestinian "martyrs" killed by Israel and, "buried at Enemy
Cemetery in the north of Israel." The deal is expected to take
place in 2 week time, coverage concludes.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas' speech at the African
Union Summit in Sharm Al- Sheikh on June 30 is highlighted in
above-the-fold stories in all dailies. The papers reprint the full
text of the speech in which Abbas thanks Africans for their
solidarity with the Palestinian people and their cause. Abbas
continues that, "negotiations with Israel have not achieved any
progress. On the contrary, Israel's policy of aggression against
our people continues. The altering of Jerusalem's characteristics
continues, in addition to settlement activities, checkpoints in the
West Bank, the blockade on the Gaza Strip, non-stop arrest
campaigns, and restrictions on the movement of individuals and
goods. Despite this, we will not be deterred."

Front pages report that Palestinian Authority Premier Salam Fayyad
signed three agreements on June 30 with the World Bank for $28.7
million in assistance for water and sewage treatment projects.
Fayyad commented that, "the economic situation in the Palestinian
Territories is very difficult, especially in the Gaza Strip because
of the severe blockade and almost total closure of the crossings."
He added that implementing the World Bank projects will require
lifting the Gaza blockade and reopening Gaza crossing points.

The three dailies highlight news about a rocket launched on June 30
from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel. The attack caused no
injuries and no Palestinian faction has yet claimed responsibility,
reporting notes. The incident is the third Palestinian rocket
attack on Israeli soil since the announcement of the Hamas/Israeli
truce. In related coverage, the papers report that Israel has
decided to close commercial crossing points into Gaza on July 1 in
response to the attack. Al-Ayyam reports that only the Rafah
crossing point between Gaza and Egypt will be opened on July 1 for
three days to allow the passage of individuals stranded in Egypt
into Gaza and for ill Palestinians needing treatment to exit into
Egypt.

The results of "negotiations" between Palestinian Authority
President Abbas and Egyptian Chief of Intelligence Sulayman
regarding internal Palestinian talks captures front page headlines.
The two officials spoke in Sharm Al- Sheikh on the margins of the
African Union summit on June 30. Nabil Amro, Palestinian Ambassador
to Egypt, announced that Abbas and Sulayman have agreed that Egypt
will host talks among Palestinian factions to reach a,
"comprehensive understanding which will end division." A date for
the talks has not been set, the papers report. In related coverage,
Hamas leader Al-Zahar told media that Hamas has received an
invitation to visit Egypt in early July to discuss the Israeli/Hamas
truce and possible prisoner exchange involving Israeli soldier
Shalit who was captured by Hamas two years ago. Separate reporting
in all dailies notes that Israeli Premier Olmert emphasized the need
to continue negotiations for the release of Shalit, after his July
30 meeting with Egyptian security chief Sulayman.

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JERUSALEM 00001135 002 OF 002


BLOCK QUOTES:
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1. Al- Quds independent prints its daily editorial entitled, "In
view of the truce...where does Hamas stand now?" (07/01): "...I
think that Hamas today realizes the meaning of practicing
authority... Hamas authorities must... know how to run internal
Palestinian affairs in the Gaza Strip without considering themselves
both head of a resistance group and head of state. In my opinion,
both [roles] cannot be combined ...because resistance has
considerations that are different from those of the state... I think
that Hamas is now at a crossroads and has to choose whether to
follow a state system and all that it entails from A to Z...or to be
a resistance [group] with its own strategies, means and
mechanisms... this does not mean that the resistance should not have
any relationship with the state, but the resistance can be but one
participant in the state structure, it cannot be its head.
Otherwise, Hamas will find itself [compelled to enforce actions]
that are not compatible with a resistance movement, as is currently
the case in the Gaza Strip..."

2. Independent Al- Ayyam runs its daily editorial entitled, "The
truce: Stabilizing the fait accompli while awaiting future
developments" (07/01): "... the truce agreement means the failure of
the [Israeli] aggression and blockade policy... and [Israel's]
readiness to admit this fait accompli. But this agreement may be
merely a temporary truce, a pause on the way to further Israeli,
regional and international developments, especially in regards to
the destiny of [Israel Premier] Olmert's government, who is to
succeed Bush, and what Bush will do after ending his presidency...
therefore, Hamas should not boast of its victory [regarding the
truce with Israel] because it is a limited one involving only one
party and might lead to a deepening of the split [among
Palestinians] instead of serving the cause of national dialogue and
unity..."

Walles

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