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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/02): Rafah - "Stop

VZCZCXRO9001
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1166/01 1850812
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 030812Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1993
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 7190
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4175
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4028
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5526
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3944
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2509

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001166

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 (7/02): RAFAH - "STOP
EMBARRASSING, TEASING AND ATTEMPTING TO HURT EGYPT."

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

The killing of three Israelis and injury of 44 others in the heart
of Western Jerusalem on July 2 captures front page headlines in the
three dailies. A Palestinian resident in East Jerusalem destroyed a
commuter bus and cars with a large bulldozer before being shot dead.
The three dailies lead with photos of the site of the attack.
Papers report that the attack was carried out by a lone individual
and that Israeli authorities did not have any prior warning of the
attack. In related coverage, the dailies report that Israel has
taken action against the attacker's family and that the Knesset has
approved of the withdrawal of Jerusalem ID/residence cards from any
Palestinian Jerusalemite who participates in attacks against Israel
and their family members.

Another lead story in the three dailies is the visit of Palestinian
Authority President Abbas to Damascus on July 6. The Palestinian
leader and Syrian President Assad will discuss ways to regain
national Palestinian unity, "lost" after the take-over of the Gaza
Strip by Hamas.

President Bush reaffirmed to Palestinian Authority President Abbas
over the telephone on July 2 of his willingness to intervene in
negotiations with Israel if Palestinians request such action,
according to the three dailies. Official spokesperson of the
Palestinian Presidency Abu Rudaynah added that Secretary Rice will
continue to work with both sides and will receive them in Washington
in mid-July, the papers report.

Coverage highlights the announcement by Hizbollah's leader Hassan
Nasrallah of Hizbollah's official acceptance of the terms of the
prisoner exchange deal announced earlier by the Israeli media and
Knesset. The exchange will take place in one or two weeks.

All front pages report that Egypt closed the Rafah crossing point
with Gaza on July 2, after clashes took place between Palestinians
and Egyptian Police. Hundreds of Palestinians also rushed the
crossing in an effort to reach the Egyptian side and in protest of
slow Egyptian crossing procedures. Hamas spokesman Ihab Al-Ghusayn,
announced that Egypt allowed the passage of only 25 of 1,500 ill
Palestinians into Egypt on July 2. Hamas commented that what
happened at the crossing point was spontaneous and due to the stress
placed on the Palestinian people.

Al-Ayyam's front page reports that Israel reopened the Gaza Strip
crossing points on July 2 and allowed a small quantity of cement
into the Strip.

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

1. Independent Al- Quds runs its daily editorial entitled, "Rafa
crossing again" (07/03): "hundreds of Palestinians tried to cross
the Egyptian borders through the Rafah crossing...the problem with
this sole passageway between Gaza and the world, is that it is
controlled by an agreement between Egypt and the European Union,
with Israeli consent. Any [approval] to pass through this crossing
is not... Egypt's [decision] alone. The solution ... is to resolve
the dangerous situation in the Gaza Strip, since [it fell under]
Hamas control... The fragile [Israel/ Hamas] truce agreement may be
a beginning to the... reopening of the crossing and to putting

JERUSALEM 00001166 002 OF 002


things back in order... but before that can happen, people should
stop embarrassing, teasing and attempting to hurt Egypt."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam prints its daily editorial by Talal Okal
entitled, "In order to escape the whirlpool of weakness" (07/03):
"...As part of taking practical steps towards creating a positive
atmosphere... [Fatah and Hamas] should have, even if only through
factional channels, sought to find ... mechanisms to [begin
implementing]... the first step of the Yemen initiative... this
[step] would form a unified government that could ... reestablish
security systems, a structure of authority and preparation for early
elections."

Walles

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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