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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/07): Syrian Bid to Host

VZCZCXRO0940
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1179/01 1891246
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071246Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2015
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 7192
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4177
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4030
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5528
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3946
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2511

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JERUSALEM 001179

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 (7/07): SYRIAN BID TO HOST
INTERNAL PALESTINIAN TALKS

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
The three dailies lead with news on the July 6 meeting between
Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas and Syrian President
Al-Assad in Damascus. The two presidents discussed the peace
process in the Middle East. In a statement, spokesperson of the
Palestinian Presidency Nabil Abu Rudayna confirmed that Abbas
intends to work through Syrian officials to push talks with Hamas.
Abu Rudayna added that Abbas plans to meet with Al-Asad and Syrian
leaders, stressing that, "there are no other scheduled meetings."
Hamas expressed "resentment" at Abbas' refusal to meet with their
leaders.

The three dailies report on their front pages that Hamas stated on
July 6, that European countries have offered to intervene in
negotiations regarding kidnapped Israeli soldier Shalit. July 5
reporting in all dailies noted that Hamas was suspending prisoner
exchange negotiations with Israel. In separate reporting in all
dailies, Hamas leader Abu Marzuq said on July 6 that such
negotiations will be kept confidential and out of the media. In
related reporting, the three dailies highlight that Israel began on
July 6 to exhume the remains of Hizbollah fighters in preparation of
the prisoner exchange deal which will take place in four days,
according to a Palestinian source. Islamic Jihad confirmed that the
remains of 13 PIJ fighters will also be returned, according to July
6 front pages.

"Reliable" Palestinian sources reported to the three dailies on July
6 that Egypt has ceased efforts regarding Fatah/Hamas reconciliation
talks because of the, "American-Israeli veto," on internal
Palestinian dialogue.

According to the front pages, Palestinian Authority President Abbas
and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert will meet on the margins of an
international summit in Paris on July 13. PLO negotiator Sa'eb
Erekat confirmed that the two leaders would meet during the
international conference convened by French President Sarkozy to
launch a "Mediterranean Union" aimed at increasing cooperation
between Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah highlight on inside business pages,
the opening of a USG (MEPI/MENA) supported symposium organized by
the Palestinian Businesswomen's Forum on July 6 in Ramallah. The
article includes remarks by U.S. Consulate General Economic Chief
Jonathan Carpenter highlighting U.S. economic assistance to the
Palestinians. Al-Jazeera and Al-Aan Arab satellite TV also featured
the U.S.- funded program on their July 6 evening news bulletins.

---------------
Weekend stories
---------------

Sunday, July 6, 2008

1) Al Quds' and Al Ayyam's lead photos showed an elderly Palestinian
woman carrying a baby and leading three children to a, "racist
separation wall" opening in anticipation of crossing over into "Old"
Beit Hanina neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian presidential spokesperson Abu Rudaynah announced to Al
Ayyam in a telephone interview on July 5 that Palestinian and
Israeli negotiators will meet in Washington in 10 days time, "in the
presence of representatives of the American Administration." Abu

JERUSALEM 00001179 002 OF 003


Rudayna added that the meeting's goal is to make a strong push
forward in peace talks between the two sides.

In truce news, the dailies reported that Hamas on July 5 denied
Israeli reports that it arrested "Palestinian activists" in Gaza to
prevent them from launching rockets into southern Israel. Hamas
thereby denied maintaining a, "peaceful policy" towards Israel, the
papers reported.

Front pages reported that Hamas leader Mahmud Al Zahhar emphasized
on July 5 in an interview with Saudi daily Al Watan that internal
Palestinian dialogue talks have deteriorated and come to a halt. The
Hamas leader charged that officials in Ramallah were, "incapable of
holding talks because of the American and European veto," which
requires acceptance of the Quartet conditions. Al Zahhar confirmed
that Hamas and other Palestinian factions refused the conditions,
according to the dailies.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to reopen key crossings
into the Gaza Strip on July 6. The Erez, Nahal Oz, Sufa, crossings
would be opened, while the Karni crossing would remain closed for
repairs, Israel Radio reported. Fuel and humanitarian aid, including
food and medicine would be allowed into the Gaza Strip.

Al Ayyam frontpages a report under the headline, "Israeli settlers
bind Palestinian teacher to pole and club him in Samu'" near the
West Bank city of Hebron. The assault against the local resident
coincided with a rally organized by local farmers, and foreign and
Israeli activists demanding that farmers have access to their
agricultural lands, the report concluded.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The three dailies led with news that Israeli Defense Minister Barak
has ordered Israeli Defense Forces to destroy the family home of
the Palestinian who used a bulldozer on July 3 to kill several
Israelis and destroy cars and a bus in downtown West Jerusalem.
Legal advisors to the Israeli Government said the move to destroy
the East Jerusalem house was legal but warned of the "dangerous"
consequences of the punishment, according to coverage.

Al Ayam's front page reports that Palestinian Authority President
Abbas asked President Bush to make greater efforts towards achieving
a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal. Abbas delivered his message to
Bush via a letter, congratulating the U.S. President on the occasion
of July 4.

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

1. Independent Al- Ayyam runs its daily editorial entitled, "Abbas-
Assad meeting and Internal Palestinian Dialogue!!" (07/07): "...
there are official declarations and... indications that the
situation is not yet ripe for [meetings between Abbas and Hamas
leader Mish'al], especially since Hamas insists on its positions
regarding ...control over the Gaza Strip (by force), and the attempt
to impose the results of its rebellion on everybody. In addition,
there are enough indications to suggest that Syria will exert strong
pressure to achieve a meeting between President Mahmud Abbas and
Khaled Mish'al and that the Syrian Foreign Ministry is also ready to
make continuous... efforts to establish a new basis... for a new,
internal Palestinian dialogue..."


JERUSALEM 00001179 003 OF 003


2. Independent Al- Quds carries an editorial by Dr. Diab Nasr
entitled, "national dialogue...rights and foundation" (07/07):
"...We see that... the Palestinian Liberation Organization will
focus [future efforts] on Palestinians abroad and try to bring them
back to the homeland. So, we have to renew and re-establish [the
PLO] in all [of its functions]: ... it is impossible [to allow] the
current situation to continue or the national hopes for freedom and
independence will be destroyed. The opportunity to build a secure
national future will also be missed... [unless] there is... national
unity..."

Walles

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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