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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/02): The Gaza Strip Truce _

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1968
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7188
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4173
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4026
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5524
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001144

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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

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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (7/02): THE GAZA STRIP TRUCE _
"NOT ABOUT MILITARY OBJECTIVES"

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Main Stories:
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The speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas at the
Socialist International Conference in Athens on June 1 is front page
news in all dailies. The dailies reprint the full text in which
Abbas emphasizes that peace negotiations with Israel, "continue to
face huge obstacles. The gap between the two positions continues to
be wide and cannot be overcome if the Israeli Government does not
take firm action and implement measures that confirm its serious
desire to protect this opportunity." Abbas adds, "despite the
tragic situation that we are living in, we have decided to give
peace talks a chance to continue," the papers report.

News about Gaza crossing points continues to attract headlines.
Al-Quds leads with a photo of exhausted Palestinian children waiting
on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing. The front page report
notes that Egypt opened the southern Rafah crossing point on July 1
to allow the passage of individuals stranded in Egypt into Gaza; and
for the passage of Palestinians needing medical treatment into
Egypt. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida highlights a photo of ambulances waiting
in a crowd of people to exit Gaza into Egypt. Related coverage in
Al-Quds highlights the July 1 assessment made by European Commission
head General Pietro Pistolese in Rafah that he does not expect the
Gaza crossings to remain permanently open.

Al-Quds' front page reports that Hamas denies deploying its forces
along the northern borders of the Gaza Strip. Former Hamas Prime
Minister Haniyyah criticized the Israeli position towards the truce
[closing of crossing points] and considered it, "a discouraging
start to the agreement" in a speech on July 1. For his part,
Israeli Premier Olmert 'threatened" on July 1, that his country
will, "fight with all of Israel's power," if Palestinians do not
honor the truce agreement. The paper rounds out reporting with a
note that Palestinian factions are considering the adoption of a
united position towards Israel if Israel, "continues its truce
violations" in Gaza.

The three dailies highlight a rocket attack by Israeli settlers on
the Palestinian village of Burin near the West Bank city of Nablus
on their front pages. The attack, which did not cause any injuries
or material damage, was characterized by Palestinian presidency
spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaynah as, "Israeli escalation [of
violence] by the settlers." PLO negotiator Sa'eb Erekat described
the incident as, "a terrorist act by the settlers against our
unarmed people and dangerous development," according to all papers.
Al-Ayyam covers the July 1 meeting of Palestinian Authority
President Abbas with Israeli Minister of Defense Barak held on the
margins of the Socialist International Conference in Athens.
Official Palestinian presidency spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaynah told
Al-Ayyam that Abbas reiterated to Barak the need to remove [West
Bank] checkpoints to enable the free movement of the Palestinian
people. The two officials also discussed the issue of halting
Israeli settlement activities, the paper notes.
In a brief report on Al-Ayyam's front page, Hamas denies handing
Israel a new list of prisoners to be released in a possible exchange
deal. Al-Ayyam also briefly reports that Hamas denied on July 1
that Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas will meet with
head of the Hamas Politburo Khaled Mish'al in Damascus next month.

Al-Quds reports on a USAID event in Yatta city in the West Bank
Hebron Governorate. On July 1, the residents of Yatta city
celebrated infrastructure improvements funded by USAID.


JERUSALEM 00001144 002 OF 002


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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1. In one of its main editorials, under the headline, "Will the
Truce Last Long?" independent Al-Quds opines, (07/02) "...In
evaluating the truce, one can conclude that it will not last long
for several reasons. Mainly, because the basis of Israeli policy is
not to implement a true peace with the Palestinians by respecting
their demands, but rather to impose a peace by force that is in
accordance with Israel's wishes ...Israel knows that the Palestinian
people will not accept such an Israeli peace since it would mean
surrender ..."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by Dr. Ibrahim Ibrach
entitled, "Why a Truce Now? Whose interest would an extension to the
West Bank serve?" (07/02): "In order for us to understand the truce,
we have to ask why there is a truce now?...For Israel, had the truce
been successful in the past, Israel would have been forced to give
up control of land in the West Bank. Today, however, the truce
enables Israel to keep control of the West Bank at no cost except
for allowing the entry of food and fuel, bought by Palestinians
themselves, into the Gaza Strip... The truce and its success are not
related to military objectives but to a political and strategic
horizon... Israel will give the Palestinians, especially Hamas, one
of two choices: Either maintain the truce in the Gaza Strip or
embark on national reconciliation and the uniting of the two parts
of the homeland..."

Walles

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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