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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/15): An Assessment Of

VZCZCXRO6121
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1880/01 2891205
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151205Z OCT 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2997
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 7357
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4337
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4190
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5684
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4106
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2671

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JERUSALEM 001880

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 (10/15): AN ASSESSMENT OF
POST-ANNAPOLIS EVENTS

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
Secretary Rice's remarks at the October 14 meeting of the
Palestinian Business Forum in Washington are front page news in all
dailies which also run prominent photos of Rice and Palestinian
Authority (PA) Prime Minister Fayyad. Al Quds leads with the story,
quoting Rice's that she will, "leave no stone unturned," to achieve
an Israeli-Palestinian agreement before she leaves office. Rice
added that the U.S. has assisted the PA with $600 million, a sum
that exceeds the pledge for U. S. assistance made at the Paris
donors' conference, the dailies note. The news comes one day after
Al Quds and Al Hayat Al Jadida ran front page stories about a recent
World Bank report claiming that the PA will face serious financial
difficulties before year's end unless assistance pledges are
fulfilled.
Al Ayyam and Al Hayat Al Jadida lead with news about internal
Palestinian dialogue in Cairo. The three papers report that Fatah
refuses to hold bilateral meetings with Hamas while Hamas denies
receiving information on the Egyptian plan for reconciliation. The
news follows weeks of daily front page reporting on the issue.
Al Quds' front page reports on Hamas warning of a, "looming
humanitarian crisis" in Gaza caused by Israel's refusal to allow
sufficient supplies of fuel into the Strip. The group called upon
Palestinian Authority President Abbas to pressure Israel to allow
more fuel into the Strip, according to reports. In other Gaza news,
the three papers report that Egypt destroyed 10, "smuggling tunnels"
along its Gaza borders on October 14. The story follows earlier
reporting about demands by a local human rights group that Hamas
criminalize tunnel activities since 48 people have died in tunnel
accidents in the past two years.

Ma'an network reports that Palestinian security forces will not
deploy to Hebron on October 17 as reported in an Israeli daily.
According to Palestinian security services Hebron chief Samih
As-Sayfi, the plans are, "still evolving." The reporting follows
news in all dailies from October 14 that the Palestinian Authority
(PA) will be sending 700 additional police to Hebron city. The same
reporting also noted that the PA is, "confiscating illegal arms from
the public." Al Ayyam reports on October 15 in judicial news that a
Palestinian Authority military court sentenced to death three
suspects convicted of spying for Israel. The sentence was reduced
to seven years of imprisonment.

Al Quds reports on its front page that President Bush has
"officially declared" that the U.S. Government is buying shares in
American banks. Reporting on the global financial crisis and U.S.
action to mitigate it, appears daily in the Palestinian press. On
October 11, Al Ayyam led with a story reassuring the Palestinian
public that, "bank deposits and the Palestinian Monetary Authority
are safe - a decrease in international aid is not expected."
Al Quds runs a front page DPA wire story about Spanish Foreign
Minister Moratinos pledge to take the Arab peace initiative, "before
all decision-makers in Israel." Making his statements in Madrid,
Moratinos called for more financial support, "for the new
Palestinian state and a new attitude towards Israel."
Al Quds runs a brief notice on page 2 that the State Department is
considering opening, "an interest office" in Tehran.
---------------
"Weekend" stories
---------------

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


JERUSALEM 00001880 002 OF 003


Al Quds led with a story about the sixth Jerusalem Conference held
in Qatar which gathered 46 Arab and Islamic countries to study
issues related to Jerusalem. Conference attendees issued a
statement calling for greater Arab support to Palestinians who are
facing the "judaization" of Jerusalem. In related news, all front
pages reported on October 13 that Israel broke ground on Islamic
Waqf land for a Jewish temple that will stand 1,250 meters from the
Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. On October 12, all front
pages highlighted news that Israeli "settlers" had erected a large
structure for the Jewish Sukkot holiday in the front yard of the Al
Kurd East Jerusalem family in Sheikh Jarrah, who are facing the
threat of house demolition.
Al Quds reports on statements made by Palestinian Authority (PA)
Prime Minister Fayyad on October 12 during a reception organized by
the American Task Force on Palestine in Washington. Fayyad
underscored that Israeli settlements are expanding and are
threatening to scuttle the two-state solution. He added that, "our
people are not interested in the establishment of any state at any
cost... there is a need for the incoming U.S. administration to work
for the success of the peace process," according to the reports. In
related news, all front pages reported that Israeli settlers are
being assisted by Israeli Defense Forces to establish a new
settlement outpost near the West Bank city of Hebron.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Al Quds led with a headline, [Hamas leader] "Misha'al: An agreement
has been reached to form a national reconciliation government,"
while Al Ayyam's headline highlighted, "very positive discussions
between Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Syrian President
Assad." Al Hayat Al Jadida highlighted comments by Abbas about
Damascus' "historical" role as mediator in Palestinian affairs and
his pledge to continue coordination with Syria and Egypt to achieve
Palestinian reconciliation.
Ma'an network reports extensively on comments by Mash'al from
October 12, including that the division, "originally created by
Israel and America," may soon end. Mash'al blamed the U.S. for the
failure of the 2007 Mecca agreement and noted that the U.S. opposed
the Yemen agreement signed by Hamas and Fatah officials last March.
Regarding the current agreement, Masha'al explained that it would
include forming a national unity government, "de-factionalizing"
Palestinian security forces, and a timetable for new presidential
and parliamentary elections. He called on both groups to release
political prisoners and end media incitement against one another.
Al Quds' front page cited British Sunday Times in a story revealing
that secret tri-partite talks between Britain, Israel and the
Palestinian Authority will be conducted in Britain in an attempt "to
resume the Middle East peace process" on the basis of the Arab Peace
initiative proposed by the Saudi King in 2002. Delegations will
include former Saudi intelligence head Turki Al Faysal, PA official
Nabil Sha'ath and the Israeli official Alon Lial, according to
reporting.
------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. Al Quds editorial opines under the title, "Freezing negotiations
is an Israeli strategy" (10/15): "Almost a year has elapsed since
the Annapolis peace conference... an entire year that has totally
failed to produce any real progress in the peace process. Reaching
a peace agreement, as recommended during the Annapolis conference,
after launching direct peace talks between Israel and the
Palestinians, has become a kind of mirage that is difficult or
impossible to reach by the end of this year and before the American
President leaves office... freezing negotiations is an Israeli
strategy aimed at consolidating occupation, expanding settlements
and rejecting the inalienable Palestinian rights to [refugees']

JERUSALEM 00001880 003 OF 003


return and Jerusalem."

2. Hani Habib writes in Al Ayyam under the title, "Livni and
Olmert's deposit" (10/15): "We believe that the negotiation process
regarding Palestinian issues will continue under the Livni
government just as it did during Olmert's time, but this time, the
American presidential elections will have to be taken into account.
That is why there is so much talk about what has become known as,
"Olmert's deposit" which can be viewed as a preliminary
Israeli-Palestinian agreement... We do not believe that Olmert's
deposit [near-full withdrawal from West Bank] will be realized now,
but rather after the formation of Livni's government. Implementing
it early would create obstacles in coalition talks conducted by
Livni"

Walles

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