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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (8/08): Frustration at Lack Of

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DE RUEHJM #1471/01 2210934
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 080934Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2462
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 7254
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4243
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4096
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5590
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4009
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2577

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JERUSALEM 001471

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 (8/08): Frustration at lack of
tangible results from Israeli-Palestinian talks

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Main Stories:
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Israeli actions in Jerusalem and the West Bank on August 7 dominate
the front pages of the three dailies. All dailies lead with news
about Israel's decision, announced by the Israeli Ministry of the
Interior on August 7, to establish 400 housing units in the Nave
Ya'kov settlement in East Jerusalem. This project was reportedly
approved by the Jerusalem Municipality on March 10, according to an
AFP report cited in Al-Quds. The dailies also report that Israel
has submitted bids to establish another 416 units in two settlements
near Bethlehem. Al-Ayyam's lead headline reads, "Israel decides to
establish 816 housing units in three settlement neighborhoods in
occupied Jerusalem," while Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's headline states,
"Israel allows the establishment of hundreds of settlement housing
units in Jerusalem." In other related coverage, all dailies report
on an incident that occurred during a peaceful demonstration against
the separation barrier in Ni'lin village, near Ramallah, on August
7. Israeli soldiers reportedly tried to stop the protest by
attacking the demonstrators, injuring eight, including one French
demonstrator. The soldiers also arrested four others, including
two Israeli peace activists and one French national. The
demonstrators reportedly retaliated by threatening the drivers of
the Israeli bulldozers [working on the separation barrier] and
forcing them to flee. The dailies also report on a series of
Israeli incursions into the West Bank on August 7, stating that
Israeli soldiers "invaded" the city of Jenin and the refugee camp
there, as well as a restaurant in Ramallah, various houses in
Hebron, and a taxi office in Tulkarem. Israeli soldiers also
reportedly arrested seven Palestinians from the West Bank, and
Israeli settlers in Hebron are said to have violated the Al-Ras
Mosque by placing garbage in front of the its gate. Finally, the
British Foreign Ministry reported in a statement on August 7 that
Israeli settlers attacked a British diplomatic delegation. No
injuries were reported in that incident.

The three dailies highlight that the Palestinian Prime Minister,
Salam Fayyad, called for the formation of a temporary transitional
national reconciliation government during his meeting with the
Secretaries General of Fatah in the West Bank on August 7. Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida cites an AFP report stating that Fayyad would not
necessarily run this government [note: it is unclear, from the
report, whether Fayyad himself suggested this]. The same article
quotes Fayyad as saying that the aim of this government would be to
achieve homeland unity. During the meeting, Fayyad reportedly
reiterated his call for the Palestinian people to support
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in his national
dialogue initiative.

Al-Ayyam and Al-Quds, citing AFP and agencies, write that the leader
of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, promised to release the Fatah prisoners
arrested by Hamas in the wake of the Gaza beach explosion on July
25. Haniyeh reportedly made this announcement during his meeting
with the Public Monitoring and Freedom Committee in the Gaza Strip
on August 7, and on the same occasion also promised to reopen the
institutions closed by Hamas and to implement the rule of law. In
related coverage in Al-Quds, the former Ministry of the Interior
[under Hamas control, in Gaza] is said to have released more than
150 Fatah members, including the Governor of Middle Gaza, once it
was satisfied that these individuals were not involved in the July
25th explosion. Al-Ayyam carries a similar story, but citing AFP,
writes that 140 prisoners were released.


JERUSALEM 00001471 002 OF 003


All dailies cite an AFP report about the new and strict Israeli
procedures that have been put in place to limit the movements of
bulldozer drivers. According to a 24-year-old Jerusalemite
[Palestinian] bulldozer driver working in West Jerusalem, he cannot
operate the bulldozer unless an Israeli policeman is present, and if
he wants to cross the road or change direction, he needs to inform
the policeman; otherwise, any mistake he commits will "cost him his
life."

Al-Ayyam covers news that the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch called
for a reduction in the amount of aid provided to Israel, in order to
avoid financially supporting the establishment and expansion of
Israeli settlements.

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

1. Independent Al-Quds runs its daily editorial entitled, "Another
Palestinian-Israeli summit but...!" (8/08): "Palestinian Authority
(PA) President Mahmoud Abbas met with the Israeli Premier, Ehud
Olmert, in a series of organized meetings between the two sides [on
August 6]. As usual, the new meeting did not include any positive or
serious Israeli steps towards what is referred to as 'building
confidence between the two sides,' even if there are reports about
Olmert's intention to agree to the release of 150 Palestinian
prisoners in the next couple of weeks, if the Israeli side fulfills
this promise and does not create obstacles or make delays as usual
... The question here is about the priority of issues in the
Palestinian-Israeli meetings. It is known that the Israeli side is
running away from finding a solution to the main final status issues
and that the negotiations have not achieved any progress in this
regard, according to declarations by the negotiators themselves.
So, why aren't the current Israeli procedures, such as settlement
activities, house demolitions, checkpoints, and the 'siege' on the
Gaza Strip, not dealt with in these meetings...? The Palestinian
people requests that these issues be activated and discussed with
seriousness, not only with the Israeli side...but on all
international levels-the International [sic] Security Council...the
International Court of Justice in The Hague, and the War Crimes
Tribunal, because the events taking place in Palestine are a kind of
collective punishment affecting all [the Palestinian] people and the
international community should place a limit on this in view of its
human and legal responsibility. What should take place, and what is
expected from these Israeli-Palestinian meetings and summits, is not
that they take place to prove that the peace process is still
alive...but to get results that will improve people's living
conditions and give them a sense of peace and security. This has
not yet been achieved although these meetings have been going on for
almost a year."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by Rajab Abu Sirriyyeh
entitled, "The light at the end of the tunnel" (8/08): "...the late
Yasser Arafat was always saying that there was a light at the end of
the tunnel, not to make people optimistic at times of depression,
but because he saw that life does not stop and that the Palestinian
people's desires cannot be suppressed, regardless of military power
... The [Israeli-Hamas] truce has held in the Gaza Strip for one and
a half months despite Israel's lack of commitment to provide Gaza
with the necessary food and goods. The past three weeks have not
witnessed any Palestinian response to the Israeli violations and
this indicates that coexistence and control of internal security
matters are possible ... When Palestinians agree on a method of
coexistence with their neighbors [Israelis] and when they accept

JERUSALEM 00001471 003 OF 003


them despite their diversity in the regional circle, the internal
tension will calm down. Then, the Palestinians and the [Israelis]
and all interested parties will sit down and there will be agreement
on coexistence with everybody in a way that no one will be denied; a
way to the future after being freed from the near and far past. And,
by embarking on this historic and tortuous path, the small details
[of the past] will disappear."

WALLES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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