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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/29): "There Is Worse to Come If

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291035Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2299
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7232
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4217
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4070
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5568
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3986
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2551

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001364

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 (7/29): "There is worse to come if
internal division continues"

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Main Stories:
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All the dailies lead with stories about the mounting tension between
Fatah and Hamas following the Gaza beachfront explosion on July 25
which resulted in six deaths, including that of a young child. They
report that on July 28, Hamas and Fatah carried out arrests of one
another's members in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with Fatah
police reportedly arresting 20 Hamas members in Jenin and 15 in
Tulkarem. The dailies attribute this campaign of arrests in the West
Bank as a response to the arrests of Fatah members carried out by
Hamas in the Gaza Strip since the explosion occurred.

The front pages of all the dailies cover a statement made by a
Palestinian official in an interview with AFP on July 28 that within
a few days, Egypt will invite all the Palestinian factions to Cairo
to start a Palestinian national dialogue under the sponsorship of
the Arab League. In related coverage in Al-Ayyam, Hamas leader Taher
Al-Nunu is said to have distributed a written statement in Gaza
accusing Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas of being
insincere in his calls for a national dialogue. Al-Quds also
reports that a two-person Hamas delegation will head to Cairo on
July 29 to discuss "unsolved problems" with Egyptian officials,
according to a statement by Hamas leader Sami Abu Zuhri published by
the Palestinian Media Network on July 29. Abu Zuhri added that the
delegation will clarify Egypt's attitude towards some of these
"unsolved problems," which Al-Quds speculates may include discussion
about a prisoners exchange deal between Hamas and Israel that would
include Shalit.

Continuing Israeli actions in Jerusalem and the West Bank receive
widespread coverage in all the dailies. They all highlight news
about an Israeli plan to establish 6000 new residential units in the
Ma'ale Adumim settlement, according to a detailed report made by the
Palestinian Bethlehem-based ARIJ Institute for Research issued on
July 28. In related coverage, the dailies express satisfaction over
the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to dismantle 2.4
kilometers of the separation barrier north of Qalqilya. The Court's
decision, which was published in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz on July
28, came after a five-year battle and stipulates the return of 2600
dunums of land in the villages of Jayyus and Flameeh outside
Qalqilya in the West Bank. All the dailies express outrage over the
Israeli demolition of the house owned by the Abu Eisha family in
Beit Hanina (East Jerusalem) on July 28 and lead with photos of the
destroyed five-story building. They also report that dozens of
people participating in a sit-in at the building were injured during
the Israeli incursion. According to the Jerusalem municipality, the
house was destroyed because it had been built without a license.

All the dailies report that the Palestinian Ministry of Information
and "Palestinian factions" (of which only the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is specified) condemned on July 28
Hamas' decision to prevent reporters from the three Palestinian
dailies Al-Quds, Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida from entering the
Gaza Strip. Al-Quds asserts that Hamas' decision came as a response
to the dailies' unbiased [sic] coverage of the news on the Gaza
Strip explosion which took place on July 25.

Dailies continue coverage of President Abbas' visit to Egypt,
including his July 28th meetings with an Iraqi delegation and with
the Palestinian ambassadors to Egypt, Mali, and Nigeria. Abbas is
also reported to have briefed Sheikh Sayyed Tantawi of Al-Azhar
Mosque on the latest developments in the Palestinian Territories.

JERUSALEM 00001364 002 OF 002


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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1. Independent Al-Quds prints its daily editorial entitled, "Israel
destroys peace...and we destroy ourselves?!!" (7/29): "Finally the
Israeli Premier, Ehud Olmert, confessed that achieving peace this
year is unlikely....Israel has continued its settlement activities
everywhere especially in Jerusalem and its surroundings, and it has
continued the policy of incursions and assassinations despite all
the Arab and international mediations and efforts...and yesterday
[July 28], Israel looked closer at its policy in Jerusalem and
destroyed a big five-story building which housed several families.
The pretext for destroying the house is that part of it was
unlicensed. This building is only one of hundreds of buildings in
Jerusalem facing under threat of demolition ... The matter of
licensing is funny and sad. When any person applies for a building
license, he already knows the difficulties and complications
justified by illogical pretexts which any Palestinian will face. At
the same time, one sees the enormous houses in the settlements and
how quickly they are built in Jerusalem, inside and outside, near it
and everywhere. And more than that, the wall that Israel is building
places hundreds of thousands of Palestinians outside the borders of
Jerusalem. This reduces the number of houses available and the
building license policy meets the main goal of pushing Palestinian
Jerusalemites outside ... We are facing a true crisis, not only as
Palestinians but as Arabs ... We [Palestinians] call on a
comprehensive Arab review of the situation [the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict, internal Palestinian divisions], and we call on the
Palestinian leadership to re-evaluate the situation before anyone
else. We really feel ashamed of ourselves in front of the
[international community] when we see this [internal] division...so,
would anyone listen to us?"

2. Independent Al-Ayyam runs its daily editorial by Rajab Abu
Sirriyyeh entitled, "There is worse!!" (7/29): "The tragic and awful
bombing incident on Friday [July 25] showed that with the ongoing
internal division and the severe conditions in the Gaza Strip, the
worst is yet to come regarding the Palestinian cause and the living
conditions of the one and a half million Palestinians [in Gaza].
The political logic says that if the internal situation is not
organized in a way that achieves internal peace and security, the
internal divisions will allow the entrance of possible poisons into
the exhausted Palestinian body. Things may not end at the internal
division between Fatah and Hamas. When a society is not organized
normally...it may turn into a victim of endless conflicts ... The
only way to rescue the society is to achieve coexistence among the
Palestinian parties...all other things are mere illusions and
attempts to create more internal conflicts and a politically
imbalanced Palestinian society ... It is very sad to say that
despite all the sad and tragic events that have already taken place,
there is worse to come if internal division continues..."


WALLES

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