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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (8/20): Lack of Movement On

VZCZCXRO4696
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1534/01 2331111
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201111Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2551
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 7275
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4264
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4117
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5611
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4031
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2598

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001534

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 (8/20): LACK OF MOVEMENT ON
INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL DIALOGUES

-------------
Main Stories:
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In a trio of articles leading its reporting, Al-Quds reports on a
number of Israeli actions in Jerusalem. The top story reports that
Israeli sources revealed on August 19 that Israeli authorities last
week approved the implementation of a plan to establish 400 housing
units on 80 dunums of land at the Neve Ya'cov settlement in East
Jerusalem. The related two articles report on developments at the
Al Aqsa compound. Al-Quds writes that Minister of Waqf and
Religious Affairs, Sheikh Jamal Bawatneh, declared that the efforts
made by Arab, Islamic and Palestinian to "rescue" the Maghrabi Gate
are insufficient and that the Palestinian Authority, as well as the
governments of Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Qatar, and other Arab and
Islamic countries, should more strongly denounce Israeli actions at
the Gate. Bawatneh's speech coincided with the 39th anniversary of
the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Citing a WAFA report, Al Quds states
that the Palestinian Prime Minister's Counselor for Jerusalem
Affairs said that "high sensitivity" cameras were placed by the
Israeli authorities at the Lion Gate's area in the Old City of
Jerusalem on August 18 and called this a new violation of the
sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque. He added that the purpose of these
cameras is to impose more restrictions on the entry of Muslim
worshippers to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and noted that they were installed
just before the holy month of Ramadan begins.

Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida lead with developments on the
Palestinian national dialogue front. Al-Ayyam cites AFP and Reuters
reports published in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram that Egypt has
invited the Palestinian factions to meet next week with Egyptian
officials in Cairo to prepare for a comprehensive Palestinian
dialogue. Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida report that the
Palestinian factions will start arriving in Egypt as of Monday,
August 25. In related coverage in Al-Quds, the Hamas leader, Salah
Al-Bradwil, denied that Hamas wants a country other than Egypt to
mediate.

Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida highlight news about the visit of
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Saudi Arabia on
August 19. The two dailies cite news agency reports that Abbas met
with King Abdullah to discuss the latest developments in the
Palestinian cause and possibilities for cooperation between the two
countries.

Al-Quds prints an interview with PLO Chief Negotiator Sa'eb Erekat
previewing the upcoming visit by Secretary of State Rice to the
Palestinian Territories. Erekat says Rice will arrive in the region
on August 25 and will start her tour by meeting with the Palestinian
Chief Negotiator Ahmed Qurei'a. He also tells the paper that the
following day Rice will hold a meeting with the Israelis and the
Palestinians at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, and then meet with
President Abbas in Ramallah.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports news from AFP that the Israeli Defense
Ministry announced on August 19 the closure of the borders between
the Gaza Strip and Israel through August 21. This is in response to
the firing of a rocket from Gaza into Israel, in violation of the
Israel-Hamas truce agreed to on July 19.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida highlights news broadcasted on Israeli Radio that
the meeting between the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, and
the Palestinian Chief Negotiator, Ahmed Qurei'a, on August 18 was
successful.

JERUSALEM 00001534 002 OF 002

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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1. Independent Al-Quds runs a daily editorial entitled, "A Step in
the Road to Releasing Thousands of Prisoners" (8/20): "Each
Palestinian prisoner released by Israel reduces the burden and
suffering of the Palestinian people in general and of the prisoner's
friends and relatives in particular. ... [While] this step, even if
it is symbolic ..., is important... [it] will not close the
prisoners file ... or end the suspicions of the Palestinian people
about the seriousness of the Israelis towards achieving a just peace
... What is requested is that the prisoner issue be given the
concern it deserves in the negotiations with Israel ... [The
continued imprisonment of thousands] ...deprives the Palestinian
people of their efforts, creativity, and enthusiasm to build their
homeland ..."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam runs a daily editorial by Hani Habib
entitled, "Cairo's questions ... and 'Cheating' on the Answer
Sheet!!" (8/20): "...[T]he Palestinian factions, the left wing and
Islamic Jihad try their best to instill hope that an agreement
between the Palestinian factions is imminent ... the release of
[some] political prisoners by Hamas and Fatah paved the way to
launching a dialogue, but they soon find reasons to close all doors
of hope and things go back to the way they were ... it seems the
factions do not tire of continuous efforts ... the questionnaire
[which Egypt prepared for the Palestinian factions to answer before
starting dialogue] is the best example of this... the Egyptian
corrector of the questionnaire should not be surprised to see
similar answers [from the factions]. [For example], the Hamas
government refused the presence of Arab forces in the Gaza Strip, so
did other factions. This similarity reveals "cheating". [Egypt]
will find that cheating occurred in more than one question and
answer. Cairo may hold direct talks to uncover the reasons and
pretexts for these answers. Then, it will also realize that cheating
[is occurring in] political speeches as well..."

WALLES

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