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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/30): Demolition of Palestinian

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OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1374/01 2120945
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 300945Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2311
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 7234
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4219
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4072
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5570
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3988
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2553

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001374

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 (7/30): Demolition of Palestinian
homes, construction of settlements

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Main Stories:
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All the dailies lead with news about the launching of
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Washington on July 30 under
American sponsorship, with the goal of reaching a comprehensive
peace agreement in 2008, based on President Bush's vision of
establishing an independent Palestinian state living side-by-side
with Israel in peace and security. In its reporting on the issue,
Al-Quds claims that the Palestinian public is pessimistic about the
outcome of the talks. In related coverage, Al-Quds quotes Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice that "a peace agreement in the Middle East
by the end of this year will be difficult," while Al-Ayyam and
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida quote her as saying, "the Middle East will not
improve unless a Palestinian state is established; Washington is
annoyed by the Israeli settlement activity 'problem.'" Al-Ayyam
also reports on its exclusive phone interview with Palestinian Chief
Negotiator Dr. Sa'eb Erekat on July 29, in which he asserted that
the Palestinian delegation in Washington informed American officials
that the situation is difficult and that the Israeli actions are
destroying the options for peace.

All the dailies report that one child was killed and twelve people
were injured by Israeli forces in Ni'lin village near Ramallah on
July 29 during a demonstration against the separation barrier.
Al-Ayyam leads with a prominent above-the fold photo of the body of
nine-year old victim Ahmad Husam Mousa being taken to an ambulance
after he was shot by Israeli soldiers, while Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
carries an above-the-fold photo of the young victim's bloodied body
upon arrival at a Ramallah hospital. The dailies also report on the
Israeli incursion into Nablus city on July 29, during which Israeli
forces bombed and burned down a large mall, causing $30 million in
damage, as reported to the media by the owner of the building.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that nine people were also arrested
during the Israeli incursion into Nablus. All dailies cover
statements made by Israeli President Shimon Peres on Israeli Radio
on July 29 that a "wall" should be established between Israelis and
Palestinians in Jerusalem to prevent further Palestinian attacks on
Israelis in the city.

Coverage of the mutual arrest campaigns being carried out by Fatah
and Hamas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip dominates the front
pages of the three dailies. Al-Quds reports that "the mutual arrest
campaigns increase tension between Fatah and Hamas," citing a
statement sent by Hamas to the Palestinian Authority (PA) police on
July 29 in which Hamas threatened to carry out reprisals in the West
Bank to "avenge" the arrests of its members in the West Bank by
Fatah. Al-Quds leads with an above-the-fold photo of Palestinians
demonstrating in the Gaza Strip on July 29 against the wave of
arrests. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida writes, "Fatah and Hamas continue their
verbal war due to the mutual arrest campaigns" and Al-Ayyam reports
that "Hamas police forces continue their control over 159
institutions in the Gaza Strip for the fourth consecutive day."

The dailies report that a Palestinian official announced on July 29
to the media that PA President Mahmoud Abbas does not intend to meet
any Hamas leaders in Egypt and that Hamas' visit to Egypt on July 28
is not related to internal Palestinian talks or with Abbas' visit to
Cairo. All dailies state that Hamas' visit to Cairo is related to a
prisoners' exchange deal with Israel which would include the Israeli
soldier Shalit.

Palestinian and European sources report on July 29 that Palestinian

JERUSALEM 00001374 002 OF 002


Premier Salam Fayyad has asked the World Bank for assistance in
obtaining urgent financial support from donor countries in order to
pay the salaries of PA employees.


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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1. Independent Al-Quds runs its daily editorial entitled, "With what
right are Palestinian houses destroyed?" (7/30): "It has become
impossible to tolerate the official international, Arab and
Palestinian silence regarding the Israeli Authority's actions of
planned and intensive demolition operations against Palestinian
houses in the West Bank and especially in East Jerusalem. The latest
of these operations was the destruction of the Abu Eisha building
[in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem] which housed over 60 people. In
the eyes of the international community, Israel is an occupying
power and does not have the legal authorization to destroy houses,
since such destruction violates international law ... The Israeli
Authority destroys the houses of the Palestinian people with one
hand and constructs houses for settlers with the other ... In many
cases, [Palestinian] people build houses on their own lands with
their own money after losing hope of ever obtaining a building
license. Such licenses require dozens of approvals from various
Israeli departments and each department charges thousands of shekels
to consider the request. Even if approval is granted, it takes many
months of communication and follow-up with each individual
department ... And if an applicant is denied a license, he receives
instead a demolition order, despite having spent huge sums of money
... The question is, if the end goal [the demolition order] is to be
executed in any case, why do people have to pay all this money? And
what is odd is that the [Israeli] municipality requests that the
owner of the house pay the cost of having his own house demolished
... This is the extent to which [Israel] undermines the feelings,
nerves and rights of the Palestinian people..."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries its daily editorial by Hani Al-Masri
entitled, "The Gaza beach crime: a step towards the unknown or the
beginning of a solution?" (7/30): "...who is the beneficiary of the
crime? ... No one can deny that the occupation is the first and
biggest beneficiary of this crime because the victims from the
Al-Qassam Brigades are targeted by Israel...and because the
Palestinian political and geographic division is in Israel's
interest and yields huge advantages ... Israel benefits from the
infighting between 'brothers' and continues with its expansionist,
racist, and settlement plans. The Palestinian divisions and the fact
that they are pre-occupied with self-destruction ... exempt Israel
from its responsibilities and commitments and prove to the world
that [the Palestinian people] are not worthy of being granted an
independent Palestinian state ... He who really wants to hold
dialogue, and really desires dialogue, should prove that by actions
and not by words, and by suggesting initiatives even if they
originate with only one side [faction]. This will embarrass the
other side and force it to either respond or reveal itself to the
world as being ineffectual and weak ... The division is destructive
to the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian national project and
the Palestinian people. Only unity is capable of opening a way to
resist the occupation and achieve freedom, the right to return [of
Palestinian refugees], and independence. So, shall we learn this
lesson before it is too late?"

WALLES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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