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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (8/12): Who Deserves

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2487
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
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RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7260
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4249
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4102
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5596
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4015
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2583

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001487

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 (8/12): Who deserves
responsibility for closing the Gaza Crossings?

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Main Stories:
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All the dailies give front-page coverage to the closing of the Gaza
crossings today by Israel. Al-Quds writes that Israeli Defense
Minister Barak's decision to shut down the crossings came after a
rocket landed on Sderot yesterday afternoon from northern Gaza. The
decision will affect the Nahal Oz crossing, currently used to
transport fuel, and the Sofa crossing, used for the passage of
foodstuffs. The coverage notes that since the truce was announced
on June 19, forty missiles have been fired from the Gaza Strip, but
have not caused any casualties according to IDF reports.

All dailies continue to provide prominent coverage of the passing of
the Palestinian national poet, Mahmoud Darwish, reporting that
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas will attend the funeral
and that both official and community-organized ceremonies are being
prepared in his honor. The papers report that the Palestinian
Cabinet honored Darwish yesterday in a special mourning session
during which Prime Minister Fayyad paid tribute to the poet on
behalf of President Abbas. All dailies quote Fayyad as saying,
"Farewell Mahmoud...through your humanity you saw the triumph of the
humanity of the Palestinian people." The body is expected to
arrive Wednesday, Aug 13, and will be buried at a small hill next to
the Cultural Palace in Ramallah, where he held his last poetry
session. A presidential delegation asked the family's permission to
bury the deceased in Ramallah in accordance with his will.

The dailies report that the Israeli ministerial committee charged
with the issue of releasing Palestinian prisoners decided on August
11 to release 150-200 prisoners whose hands "do not have Israeli
blood on them." This decision comes after a promise made by Olmert
to Abbas, during their recent peace talks, to release Palestinian
prisoners.

All dailies report on the Israeli decision to transfer 72 million
NIS to the Palestinian Authority to pay the salaries of its Gaza
employees. Israeli Defense Minister Barak ordered the transfer in
response to a request by PM Fayyad.

The dailies report on an Israeli plan to build synagogues and
bridges in the Al-Maghrabi Gate, the western gate of Al Aqsa Mosque,
noting that the bridge would enable the police to raid Al Aqsa at
will. The Al Aqsa Association called for an emergency meeting to
counter these Israeli efforts.

The dailies quote the Secretary General of the Palestinian
Presidency, Tayyeb Abdel Rahim, as having said yesterday during a
conference of retired veterans that "the national struggle is
passing through its most critical and dangerous phases," and that
the peace process is "facing many obstacles which will have dire
consequences for the region."

Inside pages of all the dailies provide coverage of the internship
program funded by the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem and
implemented by the Palestinian Business Women Forum (BWF) in
cooperation with the Consulate. The 17 interns who participated in
the program completed 120 hours of practical training with prominent
Palestinian companies throughout the West Bank. The positive
coverage highlighted these efforts to integrate recent women
graduates into the Palestinian workforce.

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BLOCK QUOTES:

JERUSALEM 00001487 002 OF 002


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1. Independent Al-Quds runs its main editorial entitled, "Egypt...
and the Palestinian Situation" (08/12): "Rafah and the other
crossings were opened per international arrangements and agreement,
and what actually closed them down is the takeover by force of the
authority in Gaza and the continuity of these practices as witnessed
in recent events; added to this is the rejection and hindrance of
the dialogue initiative launched by President Abu Mazen which would
have led to the reopening of all the crossings. It would have been
better for those [an ambiguous reference to Hamas in Gaza] who
criticize Egypt and raise suspicions about its positions, to first
demand from Israel, with whom they concluded a truce...that the
crossings be opened. And it would have been better for those same
individuals to go back and examine the causes [of the closures]
rather than stepping over the real facts. The only way of lifting
the siege in the Gaza strip is to restore the unity of the homeland
and unify the PNA and the security forces ... The Egyptian position
has always been and still is crystal clear in this regard and has
been repeatedly emphasized ... Egypt's national position in support
of and solidarity with Palestinian rights remain above all
suspicions and accusations."

2. Under the title, "Hamas and Egypt", regular columnist Hani Al
Masri opines in the independent Al-Ayyam (08/12): "These days, signs
of a new crisis between Egypt and Hamas appear as Egypt blocks
passage of a parliamentary delegation through Rafah, and as official
Egyptian sources leak growing skepticism about Hamas' credibility
and interest in reconciliation and dialogue, especially after recent
events following the Gaza beach [explosion]... Signs of this crisis
have become even clearer in the accelerating criticism that Hamas
has fired at Egypt for not opening the Rafah crossing, to the point
where Hamas leaders have organized and taken the lead in marches
towards the crossing. This threatens a repetition of the popular
large-scale raid of the Egyptian-Gazan border, which would embarrass
the Egyptian leadership and make them party to the siege ... An
explosion of the Hamas and Egypt crisis is in nobody's interest
because it would reflect on the whole Palestinian people and on the
Palestinian cause, and most powerfully on the people in the Gaza
Strip. We must hurry to stop the deterioration [of the situation]
and give priority to ending the division and to restoring unity."

WALLES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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