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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/16): 20 Years After the Cold

VZCZCXRO6956
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1883/01 2901030
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161030Z OCT 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3002
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 7360
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4340
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4193
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5687
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4109
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2674

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001883

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 (10/16): 20 YEARS AFTER THE COLD
WAR: "ARAB FAILURE"

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
Al Ayyam and Al Hayat Al Jadida lead with stories about Palestinian
unity talks in Egypt. Al Quds front pages the topic but leads with
news about on-going preparations for the Fatah party congress.
Regarding unity talks, the papers report that Palestinian Authority
President Abbas continues to refuse direct talks with Hamas, while
both parties are being pressured by Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to
show progress towards unity. In other Fatah-Hamas news, Al Quds'
front page reports that Fatah official Hatem Abdul Qadir warned of
possible plans by Hama's to assassinate Palestinian officials and
security chiefs, as reported by Israeli daily Yeadon Amaranth.
Hama's spokesman Ismail Radian denied the existence of such plans,
the papers note.

Al Heat Al Jidda's lead photo shows the funeral of a Palestinian
teenager killed by Israeli soldiers near the West Bank city of
Ramallah on October 14. Together with Al Ayah, the two papers front
page news of the killing of a second teen by Israeli settlers near
Ramallah on October 15. The second teen was killed when settlers
opened fire on Palestinians "protesting" the killing of the first
teen, according to reporting. All papers highlight that Israeli
soldiers looked on as settlers danced around the ambulance carrying
the second teen's body and blocked the vehicle's departure. In a
related story, the three dailies run eyewitnesses accounts of how a
young Palestinian was assaulted by Israeli soldiers near the Nablus
area checkpoint Howard on October 15. A final story about the
Israeli military runs on page 2 of Al Ayah, noting plans by Israeli
Defense Forces to conduct exercises near Gaza, a move that is
causing concern among Gaza's over possible Israeli incursions into
the Strip.

Al Quads and Al Heat Al Jaded highlight the October 15 visit by an
American Consulate delegation to the Nablus Chamber of Commerce on
inside pages. The Consulate's delegation was headed by Chief of the
Economic Section Jonathan Carpenter who met with Palestinian
officials and businessmen. The group discussed the economic
situation and Israeli "siege" on the city of Nablus, according to
coverage.

Al Quads publishes a front page report stating that 550 "extremist
Jews," guarded by dozens of Israeli police and armed guards, stormed
the Al Aqua mosque compound in Jerusalem on October 16. The paper
notes that the incident is the latest in a string of "provocations,"
the height of which came on Yom Kippur when another group of
[Israeli] "settlers" stormed the compound.

Israel wants to reduce the number of Palestinian prisoners that
would be released in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Shalit
under any deal with Hamas, according to Al Quds' front page and an
inside story in Al Ayyam. Citing Egyptian sources, the paper adds
that Israel fears the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners would
trigger wide-spread protest in Israel.

Al Quds and Al Hayat Al Jadida run front page coverage of a recent
poll of Gazans conducted by Near East Consulting. All papers report
that the poll reveals that 40% of Gaza residents are considering
immigration and 56% are living below the poverty line.

Al Ayyam runs a front page photo of the New York stock exchange,
introducing an article the includes comments by President Bush and
White House officials that the U.S. economy is currently in a state
of crisis but will, "heal" over the long run.

JERUSALEM 00001883 002 OF 002

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. Hani Hurani opines in Al Ayyam under the title "An increasingly
chaotic world" (10/16): "In a nutshell, the image of the Arab
world, 20 years after the end of the Cold War, suggests that it has
been failed to face up to the challenges of economic and political
reform and realize stable societies. This Arab failure [stands in
contrast to] the achievements of Eastern Europe during the same
period. This failure is reflected externally and regionally in the
form of increasing weakness in the face of Israeli intransigence and
escalation to devour occupied Palestinian land."

2. Columnist Hasan Al Batal writes in Al Ayyam under the title,
"Genocide against Palestinian olives!" (10/16): "[Israeli]
settlers' crimes against Palestinian olive trees can be categorized
as a "genocide against Palestinian flora" which is another form of a
war of annihilation, reminiscent of the crimes perpetrated by early
white settlers in America when they adopted "the annihilation war."
They threw blankets contaminated with the smallpox disease out of
their fortresses, after they learned that Red Indians had no
immunity against the epidemic."

Walles

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