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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (9/10): Alternatives to The

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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR ABRAMS
CMC WASHINGTON DC FOR POLAD

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PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (9/10): ALTERNATIVES TO THE
TWO-STATE SOLUTION

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Main Stories:
-------------
Internal Palestinian division leads reporting in all dailies. All
front pages highlight comments by Arab League Secretary General Amro
Musa expressing "anger" over the rift, and warning Palestinians that
they may face sanctions by Arab governments. Citing "news
agencies," reporting continues that Musa's stated that, "sanctions
would not be against anyone in particular. They would be against
the party which obstructs reconciliation and perhaps against
everyone, or against the organization that obstructs Egyptian
efforts." Mousa gave no details about what sanctions might entail,
according to reports. Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam run a related article by
DPA including statements by Fatah Central Committee member Zakariya
Al-Agha. Al-Agha reveals that Fatah and Hamas will hold separate
talks with Egypt on internal reconciliation at the end of September
2008. An Egyptian call for "comprehensive, national" Palestinian
dialogue will follow in October. Al-Agha confirms that Fatah has
not yet received any official invitation for Cairo talks, the
article concludes.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas' meeting with President
Bush is front page news in Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. The AFP
report quotes Abbas' spokesperson Abu Rudaynah revealing the date
and exact time for the September 26 meeting, while White House
spokesperson Perino is reported as commenting only that the meeting
may take place after the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting.
According to PLO negotiator Sa'eb Erekat, Abbas and Bush will,
"evaluate the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process and discuss
obstacles preventing the conclusion of an accord," the report
continues. Erekat also accuses Israel of failing to abide by its
commitments in peace talks, including the agreement to freeze
settlement activity in the West Bank, the report concludes.

The Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange talks get front page billing in
Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. Citing Israeli daily Haaretz, the
papers report that an Israeli ministerial task force has drawn up a
list of 450 Palestinian prisoners whom Israel would be willing to
exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Israel also
threatened to take, "various active measures," should Hamas continue
to delay talks over Shalit, according to the coverage.

Al-Quds runs the front page headline, "Palestinian Authority [PA]
pays $15 million bond in bid to resume compensation case,"
introducing an article about the recent ruling by a U.S. federal
judge that the PA must pay the American family Ellis $192.7 million
in damages for the killing of their son in a 2002 terrorist attack
in Israel. Reporting explains that the PLO and PA had until now
refused to defend themselves in court, saying the case lacked merit.
Now the PA has asked the judge to allow them to challenge the
judgment, with defense lawyers filing affidavits by PA Premier
Fayyad explaining that the PA is facing a financial crisis caused by
international embargos on foreign aid, the withholding of revenues
by Israel and restrictions on trade and movement in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip. PA defense lawyers said in court papers that the PA
is, "teetering on the verge of bankruptcy," according to the story.


Al-Quds highlights an interview with the head of Israel's military
Civil Administration Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai about Israeli
checkpoints in the West Bank. Mordechai admits that Israeli
soldiers and the settlers have made mistakes but also highlights
positive news that almost 100 of the 607 West Bank checkpoints have
been removed. He adds that in accordance with established

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procedures, the Israelis study security conditions in the West Bank
weekly and then decide whether to remove checkpoints or otherwise
facilitate movement. As for settler attacks on Palestinians,
Mordechai said that Israeli Police, soldiers and intelligence are
taking strong action against violence whether it involves
Palestinians or Israelis, according to the interview. Al Quds does
not identify the date or source of the interview.

Al Quds runs a prominent front page photo of President Bush speaking
at the American National Defense University on September 9, next to
an AFP article on the Bush announcement to withdraw 8,000 US troops
from Iraq and deploy an additional 4,500 soldiers to Afghanistan.
The story notes that the decision means that Bush's successor will
preside over a largely unchanged number of U.S. troops in Iraq,
despite the "deep unpopularity of the war."

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's lead photo shows Palestinian Authority Premier
Salam Fayyad opening a new USAID-funded public park near Bethlehem
on September 9. Citing Wafa, articles on inside pages in Al Quds
and Al-Ayyam explain that the park was previously an abandoned
Israeli military base. Fayyad thanked USAID for their support and
also condemned Israeli settlers' prior attempts to occupy land in
the area.

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. Independent Al-Quds runs an editorial by daily columnist Dr.
Hasan Abdullah entitled, "The success of Cairo talks Could save our
communal ship from sinking" (9/10): "[C]airo talks must lead to an
agreement...the agreement should pave the way for presidential and
legislative Palestinian elections...the Palestinians should consult
the people on the choice of their own leader...and everybody must
respect their choice if we [Palestinians] really want to save
ourselves and our homeland from the hellish division which is
becoming greater than both the homeland and the Palestinian cause."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by daily columnist Hani
Habib entitled, "Bilateral State...Unilateral Game!!" (9/10):
"[C]lear statements by Palestinian officials show that the
negotiations process has not led to any results regarding final
status issues. Chief Palestinian negotiator, Ahmad Quray openly
hinted that if the independent state solution fails, the alternative
demand by the Palestinian people and its leadership should be a
'one-state, double nationality' solution. It is obvious that this
demand/choice is evidence of depression and confusion..."
WALLES

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