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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/22): Western Declarations That

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2228
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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4204
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4057
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5555
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3973
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2538

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001322

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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 (7/22): WESTERN DECLARATIONS THAT
"VAPORIZE IN THE AIR"

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Main Stories:
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Al Quds and Al Ayyam lead with their daily reports on Israeli
operations in the West Bank and Jerusalem. According to all papers,
26 Palestinians, including former Hamas parliamentarian Muna
Mansour, were arrested as part of a July 21 incursion into the West
Bank city of Nablus. Israeli forces, "invaded dozens of houses,
checked them and destroyed their contents," and confiscated
computers, according to coverage. Al- Quds leads with a photo of
Hamas member Mansour's sons surveying the damage by Israeli forces
to their house. Jericho and a village near Hebron were also sites
of Israeli activity where local institutions were "invaded," two
arrests made and one Palestinian youth injured. In Jerusalem news,
Al-Quds continues coverage of the week-long "sit-in" at the house of
the Al-Kurd family in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem,
following eviction orders by the Israeli Supreme Court. The owner
of the house is quoted as saying, "I wouldn't give up my house for
all the money in the world."

All dailies highlight official Palestinian reaction to, "Israeli
escalation [of operations] in the West Bank and Jerusalem."
Palestinian Authority Minister of Information Al-Malki especially
condemned ongoing activities in Nablus city and he confirmed in a
press conference on July 21 that the Palestinian Authority (PA)
Government is following the issue closely and considers the
"escalation" to be illegal. Al-Malki also reiterated PA support for
the residents of Jerusalem.

Citing Israeli sources, Al-Ayyam leads with a reported "demand" by
the U.S. administration to Israeli and Palestinian negotiators that
they produce a "written document outlining their achievements" in
negotiations, to be presented to the new U.S. president in January
2009.

Al- Ayyam covers news about captured Israeli soldier Shalit.
Israeli sources expect that negotiations between Hamas and Israel
will resume in the coming few weeks through Egyptian mediation. The
sources also revealed that Jimmy Carter has made a proposal to
broker a meeting between Hamas, Israel and Egypt to push the
prisoner exchange negotiations forward, the paper noted. In related
coverage on Al- Ayyam's front page, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyyah
confirmed on July 21 that Hamas will not give in on its demands
regarding a prisoner release deal with Israel.

Al- Ayyam's front pages highlight Secretary Rice's July 21 meeting
with representatives of nine countries in Abu Dhabi. The paper
notes that the meeting took place an hour after Rice "threatened
Iran with punishment" over its nuclear program if Iran does not
"cooperate" in the next two weeks.

Coverage also highlights news about the British Premier Gordon
Brown's speech at the Israeli Knesset on July 21 in which he called
on Palestinians to fight terrorists and threatened Iran with new
sanctions. Al- Ayyam quotes Brown stating that, "achieving peace
includes a withdrawal from settlements and a fair solution to the
Palestinian refugee cause." Al- Quds quotes Brown asserting that,
"peace between Palestinians and Israelis is possible and Jerusalem
is the capital of the two cities." In related coverage, Al- Quds
reports a spokesperson of the British Consulate General in Jerusalem
reiterated to local press on July 21 the message that East Jerusalem
is the capital of the future Palestinian state.

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JERUSALEM 00001322 002 OF 002


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

1. Al- Quds prints its daily editorial entitled, "Brown's Visit and
his Positive Declarations" (7/22): "During his visit to the
Palestinian lands and Israel, British Premier Gordon Brown showed
positive understanding of the situation and peace demands. He talked
frankly and clearly regarding the need to stop the settlement
activities in Jerusalem and other places in the West Bank, to
facilitate passage into and out of the city, and to open all the
closed institutions, such as the Arab Chamber of Commerce. In
addition, he referred to the ongoing attempt to find a solution to
the 1967 borders ...and announced as well the donation of $60
million to the Palestinian National Authority, of which $30 million
will be dedicated to the building of housing units and to the
creation of 50,000 job opportunities... However, Brown is not the
first Western leader who has visited the country and will not be the
last, and we always listen to declarations that have vaporized in
the air..."

2. Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by Muhammad Abdel-Hamid entitled,
"Why Don't We Withdraw from the Negotiations?" (7/22): "...What
shall we lose if we state that we will continue the negotiations
only if Israel shows commitment and fulfills its obligations
according to the Road Map? We do not lose anything. On the
contrary, the condition of negotiating what has been set by the
Quartet and at the Annapolis conference places the [Western]
countries between two options: either being biased to the Israeli
attitude or respecting international legislation ... The withdrawal
from the negotiations is a legal and important attitude to show the
Arab and the world the reality of what is going on. And to stress
the necessity of intervention and international supervision of
international legislation. Withdrawal from the negotiations would
mark an important strategy for the Palestinian people that would
rebuild national unity, PA institutions, and their international
allies."

Walles

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