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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/27): Political and Security

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STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
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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 (10/27): POLITICAL AND SECURITY
DEBATES

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Main Stories:
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Al Quds leads with Kadima Party leader Livni's announcement Sunday
calling for early elections after failing to form a coalition
government. In a separate article, the paper quotes President
Mubarak of Egypt saying that the elections in the U.S. and Israel
will "provide us additional time to move" toward achieving
Palestinian unity. All three papers carry reports on their inside
pages quoting senior Fatah official Ahmad Qurei saying: "Fatah wants
dialogue, not confrontation with Hamas," adding that Fatah will take
a "conciliatory approach to its rival Hamas, even while negotiations
with Israel continue."

Al Ayyam leads with a report that U.S. helicopters carried out an
airstrike inside Syrian territories near the Iraqi borders on
Sunday. The article cites a report by the official Syrian news
agency SANA that at least seven Syrians were killed and several
others injured in the Al-Bukamal area. The article notes that
Pentagon officials refused to comment on the incident.

Al Ayyam front-pages an interview with LTG Dayton quoting him
expressing confidence in the ongoing efforts to establish a
Palestinian state while praising the performance of the PA security
services in Jenin. Dayton is also quoted dismissing criticism by
Hamas that his mission aims to end the movement's existence. The
lengthy interview also addresses Dayton's experience and his calls
to strengthen the PA security forces to "avoid surprises as happened
in Gaza." Dayton is quoted stating that the PA security success in
Jenin would allow people to refocus on improving the economy and
their lives.

The three papers carry front-page reports that Israeli settlers
attacked Palestinians near Hebron and desecrated a Muslim graveyard
following the evacuation of a settlement outpost by the IDF near the
Kiryat Arba settlement.

Al Quds carries the findings of a public opinion poll that shows 63
percent of Palestinians are satisfied with President Abbas'
performance, and 55 percent support holding new legislative
elections. The poll was conducted by the Arab World Center for
Research and Development during the month of October.

The three papers front-page reports, with Al Hayat Al Jadida leading
with large photos, of the Palestinian national soccer game held in
Al-Ram in the West Bank yesterday, in which the Palestinian national
team played against the Jordanian team. The game ended in a 1-1
tie. The coverage highlighted the attendance of FIFA President
Joseph Blatter, noting that FIFA's Goal program has financed, in
part, the renovation and construction of two football stadiums, one
in Al-Ram and the other in Al-Bireh near Ramallah.

The three dailies report on their inside pages that dozens of mental
health specialists from Canada, the U.S., Holland, Italy and the UK
protested at the Erez crossing yesterday against Israel's closure of
the Gaza Strip and its refusal to allow a medical conference from
taking place in Gaza.

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STORIES FROM THE WEEKEND PRESS
------------------------------

Sunday, October 26, 2007

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The three dailies report that Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad
welcomed the "Egyptian paper" which presents a proposal to end the
Palestinian division and called for its immediate implementation.
Fayyad is also quoted calling on Hamas to "steer away from
pre-conditions and avoid procrastination."

Al-Ayyam quotes Hamas senior leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar at the Rafah
crossing on Saturday, October 27, saying that he did not expect
Egypt to make any changes to its proposal for reconciliation among
the Palestinian factions, "despite comments and the reservations
expressed by several parties, including Hamas itself." Azzahar
added that Hamas has objected to the PLO as the sole legitimate
representative of the Palestinians unless it is reformed to include
all the active factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Saturday, October 25, 2007
--------------------------

Al-Quds quotes Akrama Sabri, Chairman of the Higher Islamic Council,
warning Palestinians from Jerusalem against resorting to Israeli
courts in their land and property disputes. Sabri said the Israeli
authority, known as the "Custodian of Absentee Property," may misuse
the court system to seize those properties. The reports note that
Sabri had announced an edict placing blame on any Palestinian who
causes the loss of property through the Custodian of Absentee
Property.

Al-Quds reports that Secretary Rice will soon travel on a new tour
to the region during which she will meet with Israeli and
Palestinian officials to "encourage them to conclude a peace
agreement." The article quotes State Department spokesman Robert
Wood saying that Rice's visit to the region will certainly occur
before the end of Bush's term.

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BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
Columnist Samih Shbib opines in Al Ayyam under the title "Political
stagnation in Israel" that "It's worth mentioning that the Israeli
interest has turned to managing the crisis [with the Palestinians]
and not solving it. During his term, Ariel Sharon tried to solve the
conflict through the 'Defensive shield' but politically he
failed....Israel has no political vision for the a final settlement
with the Palestinians. If Likud enters office, it still won't find
any other alternative but to do crisis management."

Columnist Hasa Al Batal opines in Al Ayyam on the much-debated PA
security deployment in Hebron under the title "Starting with a new
security concept." Batal argues that "at a stage like this one, it
happens that some of those harmed [by enforcing security] on the two
sides make conflicting protests...but meet in the end. Those, on our
side, are benefiting from chaos in the name of 'resistance', and
those on [the Israeli] side benefit from settlement chaos in the
name of their right to abuse the land. [Both have] political
projects, both of the harmed sides play object to security
coordination and to political negotiations. [I]n principle ...civil
security [should come] first followed by national security,
sovereignty security and finally regional security."

Mohamad Jalal Enaya opined in Al Quds under the title "Recognizing
the Arab initiative...and the horrifying alternatives" says "The
best way [for Hamas] to get out of its political crisis... is to

JERUSALEM 00001950 003 OF 003


recognize the Arab peace initiative (declared in Beirut in 2002).
[O]therwise the alternatives are terrifying -- wars that consume
people and everything on the Palestinian land".

Walles

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