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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (8/04): A Message to Those Who

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DE RUEHJM #1412/01 2170725
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 040725Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2376
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 7242
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4231
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4084
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5578
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3996
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2565

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 JERUSALEM 001412

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 (8/04): A message to those who
insist on internal conflict: Enough!

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Main Stories:
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The dominant story in all the dailies is the relative calm in the
Gaza Strip in the wake of the clashes between Hamas and the Hilles
family on August 3, in which 11 people were killed and 103 injured
according to reporting in Al-Quds. All the dailies carry remarks
made by King Abdullah II following his meeting with Palestinian
Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on August 3, in which he
reportedly expressed his concern regarding recent developments in
the Palestinian Territories and stressed the necessity of ending the
internal division between Hamas and Fatah and of adopting a dialogue
to solve it. Al-Ayyam's lead headline reads, "Palestinian-Jordanian
summit in Jordan. Abbas: 'dialogue and reconciliation with Hamas are
necessary.' King Abdullah: 'fighting 'threatens' the establishment
of a state.'" Al-Hayat Al-Jadida quotes Abbas in its banner
headline: "We do not have any other option but to work on bridging
the gap between Fatah and Hamas." In related coverage in Al-Quds,
the Arab League is reported to have asked the Palestinians in the
Gaza Strip to stop using weapons between brothers. In other related
coverage in Al-Ayyam, Hamas police reportedly arrested, on August 3,
30 of the 190 members of the Hilles family who initially fled the
Gaza Strip into Israel during the height of the clashes with Hamas,
and were later returned to Gaza by Israel. The lead photo in
Al-Quds shows Israeli soldiers detaining some of the Palestinians as
they entered Israel after fleeing Gaza. The photo is taken at an
Israeli military base bordering the Gaza Strip.

The dailies cover "adjustments" made by Israel regarding the
prisoners' exchange deal with Hezbollah, reporting that the Israeli
media announced on August 3 that Israel will release 5 Palestinian
prisoners in the last stage of the exchange deal, following the
approval of the Israeli Ministerial Council on August 3.

Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida report that Israeli has ordered the
demolition of 50 Palestinian-owned houses in the Al-Eisawiya village
in East Jerusalem under the "pretext" that these houses are built
without a license, according to a report made by the Legal
Department of the Jerusalem Center for Economic Rights on August 3.


Al-Quds highlights findings of a report published by the Palestinian
Bureau of Statistics on August 3, according to which the number of
Israeli settlers in the West Bank has increased by a factor of 39 in
the past 35 years. In related coverage, Al-Quds cites the Israeli
daily Ha'aretz as having reported that 40 Knesset members support
the reestablishment of evacuated settlements in the northern West
Bank. In other related coverage, Al-Quds reports that Jordan has
urged Israel to stop its settlement activities, according to a
report made by the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on August
3.


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

Sunday, August 3, 2008

News of clashes between Hamas and the Hilles family in the Gaza
Strip dominates the headlines in all three dailies. The large
headline in Al-Quds, written in red against a black background,
reads "Intensive Egyptian calls to Hamas and Fatah to end the
crisis-9 killed, more than 95 Palestinians injured in clashes

JERUSALEM 00001412 002 OF 004


between Hamas and the Hilles family in the Gaza Strip." This
headline is accompanied by a large photo showing black smoke rising
from buildings in Al-Shaja'iya in eastern Gaza, where the clashes
took place. Al-Ayyam leads with a large headline also written in
red, "9 killed and 95 injured, including 16 children, in violent
clashes between Hamas police and the Hilles family," and carries a
large photo of armed and masked members of Hamas, wearing military
garb and brandishing guns, walking on the street in Al-Shaja'iya
with Hamas police. In a white headline on a black background,
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida writes, "9 killed and 90 injured, including Ahmed
Hilles, and dozens of kidnappings in the Hamas attack in the
Al-Shaja'iya neighborhood," and carries two photos: one of Hamas
police and armed members of Hamas during the clashes, the other
showing people on a street in Al-Shaja'iya, seeking shelter from the
bullets behind walls and large obstacles.
In detailed coverage of the Hamas attack on the Hilles family, all
the dailies report that Egyptian officials reportedly placed
intensive calls to Hamas and Fatah leaders in an attempt to end the
crisis in the Gaza Strip. The dailies also write that Palestinian
Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas called Abu Maher Hilles, a
member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, on August 2 to confirm
his solidarity with the Hilles family regarding the Hamas attack
launched against them that morning. Abbas reportedly said that this
attack was "not acceptable" and aims at undermining the
comprehensive national dialogue which Abbas has called for. In
related coverage, the dailies cite a WAFA report that Palestinian
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called for a halt in the escalation of
violence in the Gaza Strip, and asked all factions to respond to the
dialogue initiative, during a ceremony honoring those who had passed
the Tawjihi exam in a festival held at the Al-Amari refugee camp,
near Ramallah.
All dailies report that Hamas released Ibrahim Abu Al-Naja (a member
of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah and of the Supreme Leadership
Committee, arrested on August 1) and nine other Fatah members
arrested 3 days before. In a press conference held on August 2, Abu
Al-Naja reportedly said, "we care about Palestinian blood and
Palestinian national unity," confirming the need to establish a
comprehensive national dialogue.
All the dailies report on the killing of two Palestinian youths and
the injury of three others by unknown armed assailants in Jaba'
village, near Ramallah. Palestinian police are reportedly carrying
out an investigation to determine the reason for the incident, which
took place on August 2.
Coverage in all the dailies highlights an AFP story about a
settlement in an Israeli military camp in Hebron whose existence was
revealed during a broadcast on Israeli Channel 10. The existence of
this settlement reportedly came as a surprise to the Israeli public
and to the "Peace Now" movement (an Israeli NGO that opposes Israeli
settlement in the West Bank).
The confiscation of 11,000 dunums of land in the villages of
Al-Sawahreh and Abu Dis makes news in all three dailies, which
report that the confiscated land will be annexed to the Ma'ale
Adumim and Kedar settlements. The Al-Sawahreh and Abu Dis village
councils are said to have written a joint letter of complaint to the
Israeli authorities.
A story in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that settlers in Hebron
dropped a 15-year-old Palestinian boy off the roof of a house,
causing injury to his back. His condition is described as
"serious." Settlers in Hebron also reportedly attacked Palestinians
attending a wedding in Hebron.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

All the dailies lead with news about the arrest campaign launched by

JERUSALEM 00001412 003 OF 004


Hamas against Fatah members on August 1. Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam write
in banner headlines that "Hamas police arrested a number of Fatah
leaders and Secretaries General in the Gaza Strip." Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida carries a similar headline but also names two of the most
prominent arrestees: Zakariya Al-Agha [member of both the Fatah
Central Committee and the Executive Committee of the PLO] and
Ibrahim Abu Al-Naja [member of both the Fatah Revolutionary Council
and the Supreme Leadership Committee of the Gaza Strip], as well as
specifying that three governors were also arrested. In Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida, Hamas leader Sami Abu Zuhri is reported to have announced
on August 1 that this latest arrest campaign is intended to pressure
Fatah security forces to release Hamas activists arrested in the
West Bank. In related coverage, all the dailies report that
Palestinian police in Nablus released on August 1 a number of
recently arrested members of Hamas, including Hamas leader Dr.
Mohammad Ghazal.
All the dailies carry large, above-the-fold photos of clashes during
a reportedly peaceful demonstration against the separation wall in
Ni'lin village, near Ramallah, on August 1. The photo in Al-Quds
and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida shows Palestinian protesters trying to remove
barbed wire, while the photo in Al-Ayyam shows a Palestinian holding
a Palestinian flag. In related coverage, the dailies report on
injuries sustained by Palestinians in demonstrations against the
separation wall in four locations: in Ni'lin and Bei'lin villages
outside of Ramallah, and in Al-Ma'sara and Al-Khudar villages
outside of Bethlehem. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that six
Palestinians were injured, including one child. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
also reports that Israeli settlers attacked a car with a Palestinian
mother and child south of Nablus on August 1, causing injury to the
child in the particular. Both mother and child were taken to
hospital following the incident.
Al-Quds front-pages a large, below-the-fold article entitled,
"Officials at the U.S. State Department are worried about the
Israeli delays. Elliott Abrams is doubtful that a final agreement
can be reached before the end of Bush's presidency." The article
reports that the negotiations held between the Palestinian and
Israeli delegations to Washington last Wednesday [July 30] did not
achieve any results and that according to reliable sources, the
State Department and the White House have different attitudes
regarding this agreement. The story goes on to say that while
Secretary Rice is trying to bring the parties to an agreement before
the end of 2008, Elliott Abrams of the NSC met Jewish-American
leaders in New York on July 23 and expressed skepticism regarding
the Livni-Qureia talks that have been going on since the Annapolis
Conference, reportedly informing his audience that even if an
agreement is reached between Qureia and Livni, it will remain
between the two of them only, and will not be between Israel and the
Palestinian Authority (PA). Al-Quds also claims that State
Department officials are worried about Israeli delays in
implementing the first part of the Roadmap and that the
newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel, James Cunningham, has
expressed frustration regarding Israel's lack of commitment in
implementing Roadmap details, ceasing settlement activities,
removing checkpoints, and reinforcing the PA's status. Al-Quds also
claims that the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem, Jake Walles, has
said that the Palestinians have implemented their Roadmap
commitments to a much greater extent than Israel has done.
Al-Quds reports that the weekly Israeli newspaper Kol Ha'ir wrote on
August 1 that there are Israeli plans to establish 735 new
settlement units in Pisgat Ze'ev in Jerusalem.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and Al-Ayyam highlight news that Russia will
provide the PA with $10 million to help the PA pay the salaries of
its employees and to support the Palestinian people in Gaza in
"several domains." The agreement was signed on August 1 by

JERUSALEM 00001412 004 OF 004


Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the Representative of
the Russian Federation to the PA, Sergei Kosolov.

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

1. Independent Al-Quds runs its daily editorial entitled,
"Enough...!!" (8/04): "The sad events in the Gaza Strip during the
last three days and their results have shocked and surprised
Palestinians throughout the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in refugee
camps and abroad, not only because they form a new step in the
[internal] division and because such incidents deform the image of
the patient Palestinian people in the eyes of the world, but also
because they deny and harm all the sacrifices of the Palestinian
people and their dream of freedom and independence. And also
because they create a gap in the Palestinian and social relations
... What is happening harms each Palestinian and constitutes a
denial of the martyrs' blood and the suffering of the injured and
the imprisoned. In fact, it is a denial of the entire Palestinian
cause ... In view of this sad and dangerous situation, we reiterate
that it is time for our people to speak up and determine their
future and destiny through frameworks and political mechanisms. And
it is time to tell those who insist on internal conflict, those who
encourage Palestinian bloodshed and the killing of the innocent,
those who act to scare people, increasing their pain and
suffering...Enough.

2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries its daily editorial by Talal Okal
entitled, "What is left for us?" (8/04): "Regret and condemnation
are no longer useful for the events occurring in the Palestinian
arena, due to the division and conflict between the main parties
that control the destiny of the Palestinian people ... Why is this
conflict continuing, why is this division deepening, where are
things headed, what do the political leaderships want...? The latest
round of this painful conflict exceeded all the "red lines" [i.e.
limits] and all the values that reinforce the strength of
Palestinian rights ... Why doesn't the Arab league, or the nearby
and far away Arab countries, intervene to stop this conflict and
violence, and this misuse of Palestinian national powers, and Arab
nationality? Why did they move quickly as soon as they heard that
there was a crisis between the Lebanese factions, and then they
stand still when it comes to the Palestinian national dialogue? At
least, why don't they move to prevent the ongoing conflict?


WALLES

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