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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (8/25): If the Ships Break The

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250755Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2583
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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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 7281
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4270
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4123
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5617
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4037
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2604

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001557

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 (8/25): IF THE SHIPS BREAK THE
SIEGE, WILL INTERNAL DIVISIONS BE FIXED?

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Main Stories:
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No one story captures the headlines in the Palestinian press, with
the three dailies leading with different reports. Al-Quds
highlights news that Israeli police decided to close down an
Arab-Israeli organization known as the Al-Aqsa institution, located
in northern Israel. Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, Head of the Al-Aqsa
institution, which is affiliated with the Islamic Movement in
Israel, said the decision was made on August 14, a day after his
institution "uncovered" Israeli plans to establish several Jewish
synagogues at the Magrabi Gate area and to turn the cemetery of
Al-Rahma near the eastern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque into a public park.
Salah said during a press conference held in Um Al-Fahem that the
Israeli decision was implemented on August 24.

Al-Ayyam leads with news of Hizbollah's leader Hasan Nasrallah's
threat to "destroy" Israel if it carries out its threats to attack
Lebanon. Nasrallah's threat was announced on August 24 in a speech
on Al-Manar TV.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida showcases preparations for the official reception
at the Presidential offices in Ramallah of the 199 Palestinian
prisoners scheduled to be released by Israel on August 25.
Palestinian Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, Ashraf Al-Ajrami, said
during a press conference held on August 24 that he considers the
prisoners' release as a step in the right direction.

The three dailies report that Egypt begins today its meetings with
the Palestinian factions to resolve the internal Palestinian
"crisis". The first meeting will be between Egyptian intelligence
chief, Omar Suleiman, and the Islamic Jihad leader, Ramadan Shallah.


Al-Quds carries a report that five Palestinian students were injured
during clashes between members of Fatah and Hamas at Al-Azhar
University in the Gaza Strip on August 24. Members of both parties
were quoted blaming the other for the conflict. Fatah members
claimed the Hamas police raided the university and attacked teachers
and students, while Hamas members accused the university
administration and pro-Fatah students of attacking Hamas students.
In related coverage, Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam report that more than one
million students began the new school year in the Palestinian
Territories on August 24. Other reports highlight the tour by PA
Minister of Education of schools in Ramallah and Al-Bireh on August
24.

Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida highlight news that U.S. Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice starts her visit to the Middle East on
August 25 in order to bridge the gap between Palestinians and
Israelis to reach a peace agreement. The reports note that Rice
will meet with the PA President Mahmoud Abbas on August 26 in
Ramallah.


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BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. Independent Al-Quds runs an editorial by regular columnist Talal
Al-Sharif entitled, "The Two Ships--So Breaking the Siege is not in
One Direction!" (8/25): "[T]he sailing of the two ships [to the Gaza
Strip] is a good step, but political [aspirations] cannot be
achieved without pure national unity.... Leaders, you will
eventually go, but Palestine will remain. Do not hand it over to the

JERUSALEM 00001557 002 OF 002


Israelis with your division, misunderstandings, or mishandling of
the conflict. Don't try to jump ahead of yourselves in an effort to
dodge your obligations toward achieving [internal] unity."
2. Independent Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by regular columnist
Samih Shbeib entitled, "The Authority and Future Obligations"
(8/25): "[I]t is obvious that there is no alternative to
negotiations. Stopping the negotiations by the Palestinian side may
lead to great losses, especially on the international and European
level. However, continuing the negotiations in light of closed
horizons, ongoing settlement activities and wall building... will
further increase the internal clashes, weaken the [Palestinian]
political [position] in general, and exacerbate the financial siege
on the Palestinian Authority. [T]hese [futile] negotiations would
show that [the PA] is incapable of committing to its political and
economic programs, including its ability to pay the salaries of its
employees. The ability to deal with future obligations...is a
general national responsibility and no one party can be held more
responsible for it than the other.... This requires a comprehensive
national unity to agree on a future strategy able to encounter
future obligations."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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