Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (9/02): Whither Internal
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SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (9/02): WHITHER INTERNAL
The three dailies' front pages highlight news from the weekly
session of the Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet: Public employees
will receive last month's salary and an additional 415 USD on
September 4, according to PA Information Minister Al-Maliky. In
related coverage, Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam report that the World Bank
transferred almost $121 million to the Palestinian Government on
September 1, to be used for social services including in the areas
of education and health.
Al-Quds leads with news of an upcoming meeting to discuss
intra-Palestinian dialogue between Egyptian Intelligence Chief
Sulayman and a delegation of members from the Democratic Front for
the Liberation of Palestine and Palestinian Popular Struggle Front
in Cairo on September 2. Related coverage in Al-Quds cites German
wire service DPA in reporting on Hamas leader Ismail Radwan's
refusal, in a September 1 Gaza press conference, to deny or confirm
a possible meeting between Palestinian Authority President Abbas and
Hamas leader Masha'al next month. Radwan did, however, confirm that
there are Egyptian efforts underway to arrange a meeting between
Fatah and Hamas members in Cairo in October.
Palestinian Authority President Abbas would win new presidential
elections according to poll results showcased on Al Quds' front page
and an inside page of Al-Ayyam. The poll conducted by the
Palestinian Center for Political and Survey Research on August 28 to
August 30 shows that 53% of respondents in the West Bank and the
Gaza would vote for Abbas and 39% would vote for Hamas leader Ismail
Haniyyah if new elections were held today.
Al-Quds reports on its front page that Jordanian King Abdullah II
said in a recent interview with French weekly "L'Express" that he is
unconvinced that Israel is interested in solving the Arab-Israeli
conflict. The report characterized the comment as an "unusual"
attack by Abdullah on Israeli policy.
The severe injuring of a Palestinian by Israeli soldiers in Ni'lin
village near Ramallah on September 1 is front page news in all
dailies. According to reporting, the soldiers "invaded" the
Palestinian's home and arrested his brother for unspecified reasons
on September 1. Dailies also report that two Gaza fishermen were
injured by rockets fired from an Israeli military ship.
The World Bank wants to rescue the Dead Sea, according to an
exclusive interview by World Bank experts with Al-Ayyam. The
experts explained that they are studying the possibility of
connecting the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in order to replenish the
water level of the shrinking Dead Sea.
Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida provide front page updates on
prisoner exchange talks between Hamas and Israel. Al-Ayyam cites
German wire DPA in reporting on a letter from Israel asking Hamas to
retreat from its "exaggerated" demands. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida also
reports that Israeli Minister of Interior Dichter said on September
1 that Hamas in hindering efforts to finalize the prisoners'
exchange deal, which would include the release of Israeli soldier
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Monday, September 1, 2008
The three dailies led with a read-out of the Olmert-Abbas meeting
held on August 31 at Olmert's Jerusalem home. All dailies report
that Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Israeli Premier
Olmert agreed to continue negotiations and reach a comprehensive
agreement by the end of this year. The agreement would provide
detailed solutions, not a "mere mention of good will or the
[negotiation] principles of each side".
Sunday, August 31, 2008
The top story in Al-Quds and lead pictures in all dailies
highlighted the August 30-31 opening of the Gaza-Egypt Rafah
crossing point. Reporting noted that 1,500 travelers, including
stranded Egyptian residents and "humanitarian cases" on the Gaza
side crossed into Egypt on August 30. The reports expected that 400
Palestinians in need of urgent medical care will cross into Egypt on
Palestinian Authority (PA) Fayyad's call for forming a transitional
PA government as the "logical" way to "reunite the homeland"
received highlighted coverage in all dailies. Leading with the
story, Al-Ayyam quoted Fayyad reiterating the PA's "readiness" to
manage the Gaza Strip crossings immediately in accordance with the
Agreement on Movement and Access signed with Israel in 2005. In
related developments, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida highlighted that the
deployment of Arab forces in Gaza is supported by Egypt, but fully
rejected by Hamas.
Israeli authorities intend to expand the Jerusalem area Giv'on
Hadasha settlement by confiscating 25 acres of land belonging to the
Palestinian town of Beit Ijza, the front pages reported. Quoting
Hatem Abdul Qader, advisor to Palestinian Authority President Abbas
on Jerusalem affairs, Al-Ayyam reported that three Jerusalemite
families will file a petition in the Israeli court system to prevent
the confiscation of their land.
Al-Ayyam's and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's front-pages reported that
Palestinian Authority intelligence services raided two mosque in the
West Bank city of Hebron, seizing "caches of Hamas' weapons and
incitement pamphlets." Ten people were also arrested on suspicions
of illegal possession of weapons, according to the same reports.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's front page highlights remarks by Palestinian
President Abbas in a recent interview with Al-Arabiyya, explaining
that Secretary Rice informed the Israelis and Palestinians on her
last visit, that the "occupied West Bank" includes East Jerusalem,
the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Abbas added that the Israelis
"did not object" to Rice's position. In related negotiations
coverage, Al-Ayyam quoted PLO negotiator Saeb Erakat refuting
reports that an agreement can be reached with the Israelis by
September. Erekat underscored that "a huge gap" still exists
between the two sides' positions on all final-status issues.
Al-Quds carried President Bush's Ramadan greeting as published by
Al-Quds ran a page 2 interview with Christine Griffin of the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, who was visiting Palestinian
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areas on a PD-coordinated program regarding equal employment and
disability issues. The coverage, which also includes Griffin's
picture, quoted her call on Israel to ease the movement of the
disabled through Israeli checkpoints.
U.S. presidential elections continued to capture front-page coverage
in all dailies, highlighting reports on reactions to Obama's speech
before the Democratic National Convention and McCain's "surprise"
pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate.
1. Independent Al-Quds runs an editorial by Gaza political
scientist Dr. Naji Sadiq Sharab, entitled, "Whither the [Internal]
Division..." (9/02): "[T]his internal division [between Fatah and
Hamas]...will mean the disappearance of the possibility of
establishing a Palestinian state ... it strips the main issues of
their political meaning and human rights implications. For example,
there is no need to talk about Jerusalem as a political capital.
Instead, [the discussion will] focus on its religious and spiritual
importance. Everybody is forgetting about the importance of its
borders and geographic definition ...this [internal] division could
also be dangerous if it means that Palestinians will no longer have
the power to determine their [political] options ..."
2. Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by regular columnist Hasan Asfour
entitled, "Hamas' Refusal of Arab Forces..." (9/02): "[H]amas'
refusal to study the idea of Arab forces [in the Gaza Strip] is a
refusal to end the [internal] division and instead keep Gaza as a
bargaining chip for the future... Hamas' position [on Arab forces]
is an indicator of its seriousness about national dialogue..."