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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (9/03): Debating the Role of Arab

VZCZCXRO4121
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1634/01 2470926
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 030926Z SEP 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2675
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 7301
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4283
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4136
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5630
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4050
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2617

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001634

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 (9/03): DEBATING THE ROLE OF ARAB
SECURITY FORCES

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
Previews of the upcoming Syrian-French-Turkish summit capture front
page headlines in all dailies. Citing international wires, Al-Quds
and Al-Ayyam report that the September 4 summit will be held in
Damascus on the topic of regional peace, especially, indirect talks
between Israel- and Syria. The papers also report that both French
and Syrian presidents confirmed separately to the press on September
2, that Syria, France, Turkey and Qatar will attend the summit.

All front pages carry news from a September 2 Israel Radio broadcast
that Israeli Premier Olmert told Israeli leaders that now is the
best time for Israel to conclude a peace agreement with the
Palestinians. According to the report, Olmert's comment came during
a September 2 meeting with Israeli Minister of Defense Barak and
Israeli Foreign Minister Livni. According to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida,
which leads with the news, Olmert proposed ceding 93.5% of the West
Bank and 6.5% of the Negev to the Palestinians.

Quartet Envoy Tony Blair's September 2 meeting with chief
Palestinian negotiator Ahmad Quray is front page news in all
dailies. Al Quds leads with a photo of the two officials smiling in
Quray's Abu Dis office, under a picture of Jerusalem. During the
meeting, Blair reiterated his opposition to continued Israeli
settlement expansion and stressed the need for tangible improvements
"on the ground", including an end to Israeli occupation and a "real
chance" for Palestinians to establish their own democratic state,
according to reporting. For his part, Quray reiterated Palestinian
opposition to postponing or excluding discussion on any of the final
status issues, the papers note.

Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida run the full text of U.S. Consulate
General Jerusalem's press release on Consul General Walles'
announcement of $8.86 million in USG assistance to UNRWA to address
budget shortfalls. Al Quds runs the text on page 3 with a picture
of Walles at the Shu'fat refugee camp where he made the September 2
announcement. Local news websites also picked up selected parts of
the press release and all media note that total U.S. contributions
to UNRWA for 2008 have reached nearly $157 million.

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. Independent Al-Quds runs an editorial entitled, "A Dangerous
Legal Precedent" (9/03): "According to news reports, an American
court has issued a ruling to impose a heavy fine on the Palestinian
Authority for the 1996 killing of an Israeli-American by Hamas.
This has established a (new) legal precedent... what we should do
now is bring cases of Palestinian victims [of Israeli violence]
before the courts around the world. There are plenty of Palestinian
victims who are American citizens. This might be the most effective
way to respond to these cases being filed by the families of Israeli
victims. It would be good to raise a Palestinian voice, which has
been silent until now, to express the pain of bereaved Palestinian
families."
2. Independent Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by daily columnist Jawad
Al-Bashiti entitled, "What is missing in the proposal to make it
attractive!" (9/03): "If the goal is simply to establish new
Palestinian security forces that can provide security for the Gaza
Strip, there is no need to send Arab security forces there. Such
Palestinian security forces can be trained in Egypt or any other
Arab country and then sent to the Gaza Strip, including the Rafah
crossing. However, if the goal is... to revamp the security forces

JERUSALEM 00001634 002 OF 002


and systems in a professional way, devoid of politics, and that goal
is difficult to achieve without the help of Arab security forces,
then there is also a need to send Arab forces to the West Bank as
well..."

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