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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (9/24): Palestinians See

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241108Z SEP 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2882
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7335
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4315
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4168
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5662
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4084
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2649

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001786

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 (9/24): PALESTINIANS SEE
INCITEMENT AGAINS EAST JERUSALEMITES

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
Al-Quds leads with, and all dailies front page, Fatah Executive
Committee member Nabil Sha'ath confirming that, "comprehensive
dialogue" among Palestinian factions will take place in Egypt in
early November in an effort to form a consensus government and end
internal division. Al Ayaam also quotes senior Fatah leader Azzam
el-Ahmad explaining that any future national government would be
tasked with preparing new presidential and legislative elections and
reforming the Palestinian security services.

Al Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida lead with comments by chief
Palestinian negotiator Ahmad Quay rejecting Israeli proposals to
implement "quick fixes" to end the conflict, noting that such
proposals would exclude major issues such as the status of Jerusalem
and Palestinian refugees. Al-Ayyam also quotes Quray rebuffing
American proposals based on "compromises," stating that the new
American administration should resume negotiations from wherever the
last administration left off. In another front-page article in
Al-Ayyam, a Hamas spokesman is quoted reiterating Hamas' objection
to any attempts to prolong Palestinian President Abbas' time in
office, calling the attemps illegal.

Al-Quds' runs a front page report citing Israeli Defense Forces
radio, that quotes Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon blaming
Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Palestinian chief
negotiator Quray for the failure of the two sides reaching a
memorandum of understanding. Al-Ayyam runs a related DPA story,
quoting Israeli Prime Minister Olmert expressing "great hopes" that
an agreement with the Palestinians can be reached despite his
resignation.

Front page coverage in all dailies of the aftermath of the running
over of several Israeli soldiers by a Palestinian driver in
Jerusalem on September 23, highlights the refusal by Israeli
authorities to allow the dead driver's family to erect a customary
mourners' tent. The articles also quote family members rejecting
the characterization of the event as a terrorist attack, insisting
that it was no more than a traffic accident. In separate front page
reporting, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida highlights a comment by Israeli
Premier Olmert stating that the separation of Arab and Jewish
neighborhoods in Jerusalem would be "the ideal solution" to
preventing future attacks on Israelis in the city.


Palestinian Authority President Abbas' participation in the opening
session of the UN General Assembly and his meetings with several
world leaders receive highlighted coverage on all dailies' front
pages. In related coverage, Al-Ayyam frontpages a highlighted
report entitled, "UN: Bush and World Leaders Try to Contain Fall-Out
of Financial Crisis."

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida quotes Bassam Zakarnah, head of the Public
Employees Union, announcing that the Palestinian Authority will pay
a full month's salary to every government employee.

Al-Ayyam front-pages a report on access issues released by the UN's
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The
report states that 65 percent of principal roads in the West Bank
are either closed or subject to Israeli Defense Forces checkpoints,
which now number 630.

In cultural news, Al-Ayyam reports on an inside "local news" page

JERUSALEM 00001786 002 OF 002


about the September 23 U.S. Consulate-sponsored iftar held for youth
leaders and their families in the Jerusalem community of Al Tur.
The press release is also carried by the Ma'an and Palestine News
Network websites. The story follows a September 23 inside article
in Al Hayat Al Jadida and on Ma'an websites, about a U.S.
Consulate-supported peace concert organized by a U.S. Fulbrighter in
Jerusalem.

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. In its main editorial, Al-Quds independent argues under the
title, "The Series of 'Accidents' in Jerusalem" (09/24): "The day
before yesterday, news reported an accident in West Jerusalem where
a Palestinian Jerusalemite ran over a number of pedestrians on one
of the city's sidewalks. The accident resulted in the injury of a
number of Israelis and the killing of the Palestinian who was shot
dead by a passerby. With his death, the secret of what caused the
accident also died. Only the Israeli version, claiming that it was
"a terrorist attack," over the objections of the driver's family who
say it was a traffic accident and nothing more, remains... violence
against innocent civilians is denounced everywhere, but inciting
people against [East] Jerusalemites and mobilizing a media campaign
against them as if they were fifth class citizens by implying that
'violence by Jerusalemites' is on the rise, will only make the
situation worse. Jerusalem is witnessing a calm period, calmer than
ever before despite Israeli measures such as the siege, the
expensive taxes and the rare issuance of building permits, the
campaigns to demolish Palestinian homes... This series of accidents
labeled by the Israelis as terrorist attacks before a proper
investigation can be concluded, must come to an end... These claims
should not be used to increase emotional tensions. There are
already many sensitivities and a lot of distrust between Israelis
and Palestinians in the Holy City."


2. Columnist Basem Abu Sumaya opines in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida official
under the title "Dissolving the Authority..!!" (09/24): "Waving
around the threat of dissolving the [Palestinian] Authority if an
agreement with Israel is not reached, has been the topic of daily
conversation since Oslo or even Madrid. In reality, it is nothing
more than a melo-dramatic threat that the international community
makes against Israel or is used as a way to pressure progress
towards concluding a peace agreement. A decision like that would
need an Authority with super-powers and supernatural boldness and a
strategic alternative plan... Resorting to such a plan would put an
end to the American-supported peace process and return the
day-to-day rule of the West Bank to Israel... all the Authority can
do in its current state, is get used to the finger-biting game and
controlling tempers and preparing for a strategic alternative plan
in case negotiations fail."

MARCHESE

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