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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (9/23): "East Jerusalem

VZCZCXRO9097
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1765/01 2670746
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 230746Z SEP 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2858
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 7333
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4313
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4166
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5660
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4082
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2647

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001765

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 (9/23): "EAST JERUSALEM
SETTLEMENTS SHOW ISRAELI LACK OF COMMITMENT TO PEACE"

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
Front pages highlight news from Jerusalem that a Palestinian driver
ran his car into a group of Israeli soldiers walking on a downtown
sidewalk on September 22. The papers note 19 injuries and the
killing of the driver. Al Quds calls the driver a "martyr" [shahid]
and explains that he lived in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of
Jabal Al-Mukaber.

Palestinian Authority President Abbas' visit to Ireland and his
meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin receives
highlighted coverage on all dailies' front pages. Abbas is quoted
reiterating his commitment to working with the new administrations
of the U.S. and Israel. The papers note that Abbas is visiting
Ireland en route to meetings in the U.S. In related news, Al-Quds
quotes chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmad Quray expressing pessimism
over the possibility of reaching a peace agreement with Israel by
the end of the year.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Fayyad's speech before the
September 22 donors conference in New York is the top story in
Al-Quds. The paper highlights his remarks that Israeli settlement
expansion greatly hinders the growth of the Palestinian economy and
hampers efforts to realize the two-state solution. Other
front-pages quote Fayyad saying that the PA has received pledges
from donor countries in the amount of $300 million, including $150
from the U.S.

Several front-page articles report on Israeli Foreign Minister
Livni's efforts to form a new government, including her call on the
opposition to join a coalition government.

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. The main editorial of Al-Quds independent argues under the
title, "Judaization plans are Non-Stop As Are Efforts to Launch
Dialogue?!!" (09/23): "A few days ago construction started near the
Magreb Gate [Old City, Jerusalem] to build, it seems, settlement
neighborhoods. There is also the issue of the planned bridge [in
Jerusalem's Old City near the Al Aqsa mosque] despite numerous
Palestinian, Arabic and Islamic objections and demonstrations...
Here, what is peculiar is the announcement made by Jerusalem mayor
Uri Lupolianski, that the bridge to the Magreb gate will be
exclusively for Muslims and that construction is being carried out
jointly and in cooperation and coordination with UNESCO, the Islamic
Waqf and Jordan because of an Arab request to UNESCO's Heritage
Committee...!!! This issue needs to be clarified so that the public
understands what is really going on in the sensitive area leading to
Al-Haram Al-Sharif [Al Aqsa mosque compound]. Last year, after
Annapolis, the PLO... published a detailed report showing that
setlement units and tenders for settlement constructon have
accelerated into the thousands. Most of the construction is in the
Holy City, which is an explicit Israeli violation of understandings
reached at Annapolis... [U.S., Israel and Quartet] have turned a
blind eye to these violations and not one report has been issued to
expose the lack of Israeli commitment to its obligations ... Every
day Israel offers new evidence to skeptics that it is not interested
in genuine peace and is not serious about its commitments."

2. Under the title "Cairo Dialogue ... A Golden Opportunity",
columnist Mohannid Abid Al-Hamid argues in independent Al-Ayyam
(09/23): "It is really strange that Hamas continues to deny reality

JERUSALEM 00001765 002 OF 002


and try to prove that its resilience is paying off; that the siege
is ending without them having had to compromise their positions!...
The only standard by which Hamas measures its success is by its
ability to hold onto power at any cost. Probably [Hamas] considers
a meeting with a representative... from any country, or winning the
positive bias of Al-Jazeera as a worthy accomplishment. To say the
least, [Hamas] calculations are purely for the benefit of the party.
If the goal is to control the community without national
reconciliation and liberation and with a disregard for democratic
principles, political and cultural plurality, [Hamas'] authority has
lost its most fundamental justification [and legitimacy]..."

MARCHESE

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