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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (8/05): Desperate Calls for End

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DE RUEHJM #1422/01 2180951
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 050951Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2390
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 7246
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4235
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4088
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5582
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4000
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2569

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001422

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 (8/05): Desperate calls for end
to Palestinian infighting

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Main Stories:
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The lead story in Al-Quds is the decision by Palestinian Authority
(PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to allow an unspecified number of
Palestinians who had fled the Gaza Strip in the wake of clashes
between Hamas and the Hilles family to enter Jericho. In other
front-page coverage, Al-Quds prints a statement by Hamas leader
Naser El-Din Asha'er entitled "Clearing all the Palestinian prisons
of political prisoners and intellectuals," in which he called for
the release of all political prisoners in the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip. Al-Quds also carries remarks made by an Islamic Jihad leader
during a local radio interview, encouraging Palestinian factions
such as the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front to help bridge the
gap between Fatah and Hamas. In smaller front-page coverage, all
the dailies mention that on August 4, Hamas released Zakariya
Al-Agha, a Fatah leader who was arrested by Hamas on August 1 in the
Gaza Strip. In a story mentioned on the front page but developed on
an inside page, Al-Quds reports that in a press conference held in
Nablus on August 4, Fatah threatened to carry out attacks and
arrests against Hamas in the West Bank.

Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida lead with headlines about the
Palestinian government's call to support President Abbas' national
dialogue initiative. In a large headline, Al-Ayyam writes that the
Palestinian government, in a press statement made on August 4 after
the weekly ministerial meeting, expressed concern regarding the sad
events in the Gaza Strip and called on all Palestinian factions to
adopt the PA President's initiative in order to re-unite the
Palestinian homeland. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's headline reads,
"Palestinian Premier Salam Fayyad calls for a popular and
institutional move to support the President's initiative." This
news is also mentioned tangentially by Al-Quds.

All the dailies highlight news about continuing Israeli actions in
the West Bank and Jerusalem. They all report the death, on August
4, of a Palestinian from Ni'lin village, near Ramallah, as a result
of injuries sustained during clashes with Israeli soldiers on July
31. The dailies also report that Israeli soldiers invaded a number
of neighborhoods in Nablus on August 4, searched many houses, and
forced their owners onto the street, holding them at gunpoint for
several hours. In Jerusalem, dailies report that residents of Sour
Baher village in East Jerusalem succeeded, on August 4, in gaining
approval for a new housing plan from the Jerusalem Municipality.
This plan, which was implemented in cooperation with the
International Peace and Cooperation Center (IPCC) and with limited
funding from the British Consulate, permits Palestinian families to
live in 193 unlicensed houses in the village and allows for the
establishment of 500 new housing units for Palestinians. In related
coverage in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the Israeli Supreme Court on August
4 gave the Israeli government 45 days in which to implement a
previous Supreme Court decision, handed down "about a year ago,"
which called for the route of the separation wall in Bei'lin
village, near Ramallah, to be modified.

Coverage in all the dailies highlights that Gabi Ashkenazi, Chief of
Staff of the IDF, reportedly said during his visit to one of the
Israeli military bases in Tel Aviv that Israel knows that kidnapped
Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is still alive. Ashkenazi added that
Israeli also knows Shalit's location and the identity of his
kidnappers.

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BLOCK QUOTES:

JERUSALEM 00001422 002 OF 002


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1. Independent Al-Quds carries its daily editorial entitled, "How
can we regain our waning confidence?" (8/05): "A lot has been said
about the low level to which the Palestinian attitude has fallen due
to this destructive division between the two major parties [Fatah
and Hamas] in the Palestinian arena. The most negative effects
resulting from all this is that the homeland has lost confidence in
its leadership, in itself and in its future ... Even if all
[Palestinian factions] agree on internal calm and even if the
anticipated national dialogue starts, confidence remains unsettled
with lots of doubts ... The big question is how to regain this
disappearing confidence...? It is clear that the internal division
and fighting should stop. And if this is impossible, the least they
can do is stop these [negative] media campaigns [against each
other], as well as the mutual accusations ... Each party calls for
dialogue with the other, and is aware that it cannot live without
the other, and [it is clear] that eventually, the two parties will
meet, no matter how long it might take. So why all these
accusations? ... We call on the two parties to halt their negative
media campaigns immediately, and to deal with each other with
respect ... By this, we can regain confidence and some honesty in
any dialogue or future agreements. In this regard, the almost
non-existent Arab role should be mentioned ... The Secretary General
of the Arab League, Amr Mousa, announced that the situation in the
Palestinian lands is deteriorating very fast and that Arabs are
calling for discussions on the means of halting this deterioration.
Amr Mousa's revelation that the situation [in the Palestinian lands]
is deteriorating has came too late and these calls that he is
talking about are seemingly like a turtle [i.e. very slow]. What is
most probable is that the Arab countries ... have less interest and
are less capable of influence..."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam runs its daily editorial by Hani Al-Masri
entitled, "The password to [the solution]: Regaining respect for the
national project"(8/05): "The flight of 200 Palestinians from the
Hilles family and the Al-Shaja'iya neighborhood in the Gaza Strip to
Israel, who received them by arresting their leaders and shooting
them, is a big scandal for Palestinians ... At a time when we were
waiting for a comprehensive Palestinian national dialogue, the crime
at the Gaza Strip beach took place. Mutual accusations [between
Fatah and Hamas] began, as well as [arrest] campaigns against each
other in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Then [Hamas'] security
campaign in the Al-Shaja'iya neighborhood took place and this
indicates that Hamas' authority...chose to oppress its enemy [Fatah]
and reinforce its power instead of showing flexibility ... If Hamas
and Fatah want to achieve the national interest, they should both
stop the internal fight over authority under occupation ... Hamas,
who regularly threatens to use military force to reach a solution,
forgets that the use of violence to resolve internal fights is not
acceptable and should be condemned, regardless of the justification,
because it is destructive to the Palestinian cause ... Unless the
national project [national dialogue, an end of all infighting
between factions] is revived, the need for national unity remains
hidden."


WALLES

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