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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/17): The Prisoner Release - "A

VZCZCXRO9637
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1264/01 1991035
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171035Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2147
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 7209
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4194
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4047
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5545
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3963
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2528

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001264

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 (7/17): THE PRISONER RELEASE - "A
DAY TO SMILE"

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Main Stories:
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The Palestinian media carries upbeat coverage of the July 16
prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hizbollah. Coverage
dominates all front pages, highlighting that the deal is a clear
victory for Hizbollah and Arab parties. The overwhelming theme of
the dailies' commentaries and political cartoons is that the deal
bodes well for future prisoner releases. Al-Quds leads with a photo
of long-time Lebanese prisoner Samir al-Quintar wearing military
fatigues during the July 16 official homecoming celebration in
Lebanon. Al-Ayyam leads with two photos that span the space above
the fold: One showing Nasrallah, next to Quintar, addressing the
crowd at the celebration and one showing children attending a rally
in Ramallah, dressed in Palestinian colors and holding identical
posters of Palestinian "fighter" Al Mughraby and PLO leader Arafat.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida leads with an over-sized photo of Nasrallah
making a victory, standing next to Quintar. Both Al-Ayyam and
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida front page smaller photos of Kuntar's step-mother
dancing in celebration inside her Gaza home.

Official reactions to the Israel/Hizbollah prisoner exchange deal
also appear in the dailies. Palestinian Authority (PA) President
Abbas welcomed the release in a statement from Malta where he was on
a state visit. Abbas congratulated the families of Quintar and
other released prisoners, the papers report. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
reports that the PA confirmed at a July 16 celebration in Ramallah
that, "we [Palestinians] will implement the wishes of Dalal
Al-Mughraby and all martyrs to be buried in Palestine." EU's
Commissioner for External Relations Valdner commented that the deal
contributed to regional stability, according to coverage. In
related reporting, all dailies note an Al-Qassam Brigades statement
asserting that the deal, "proves that resistance is an, active,
effective and best option" when dealing with Israel. The group also
insisted that Israeli soldier Shalit will not be released until
Israel fulfills their conditions.
The plight of an East Jerusalem family that has been issued eviction
orders by Israeli authorities continues to grab front page
headlines. All dailies highlight, "a serious development,"
entailing the July 16 raid by Israeli police of the family's home.
Police ordered the family to vacate the house by 9:00am on July 17
despite a planned sit-in by Palestinian, Israeli, and foreign peace
activists. The Palestinian Authority President's Office called on
international representatives and diplomats to act immediately and
take steps, "to prevent the Israeli occupation," from expelling the
family.
All dailies headline, "the continuing attack on Nablus" by Israeli
Defense Forces (IDF). Members of the Nablus Municipal Council
condemned the "attack" on the West Bank city and the July 16 arrests
of two of its members by the IDF.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
------------

1. Al-Quds reprints an editorial without attribution to the
original source (UAE paper Al-Khalil) under the title, "The naivety
of betting on Obama" (7/17): "Many Arab writers and political
analysts are betting on Obama's victory in the U.S. elections,
thinking that if he wins, it will also constitute a victory for
them. So they praise him in their articles... because they believe
that his victory will bring real change to U.S. foreign policy... as
if his success will bring victory especially to the Palestinian and
Iraqi causes, and more generally to Arab matters... Whether Obama or

JERUSALEM 00001264 002 OF 002


McCain [wins the elections], the core of U.S. foreign policy will
not change, except for a few details."

2. Al-Ayyam independent daily prints an editorial by Dr. Abdul
Majid Swaylim entitled, "They return... " (7/17): "[Palestinian and
Lebanese prisoners] return as if they are the leaders of their
people. They left as fighters and now return as heroes and
leaders... these days, Israel's self-image is closer to reality than
at any time in the past. As a state with the strongest and largest
military [in the region]... Israel stares into the mirror for a long
time... Israeli leaders are confused whether the [negative] image
that they see is accurate or if the mirror needs to be fixed. Very
few ask themselves why... they break the mirror when they do not
like what they see. Today, we [Palestinians] can also stare into
the mirror and smile. Isn't it the time for us to smile a bit?"

Lapenn

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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