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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/28): Palestinian Condemnation

VZCZCXRO6265
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1956/01 3020737
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 280737Z OCT 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3108
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 7376
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4356
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4209
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5703
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4125
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2690

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001956

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 (10/28): PALESTINIAN CONDEMNATION
OF U.S. STRIKE ON SYRIAN TERRITORY

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
The three papers lead with photographs and statements by Palestinian
Authority President Abbas in Cairo on October 27. Abbas announced
to the press that PLO factions have approved the Egyptian draft
proposal for Palestinian political unity. The paper also reports
that Hamas has given verbal support for the Egyptian plan in advance
of reconciliation talks to begin in Cairo next month. Abbas
commented that, "There are about 57 Arab and Islamic countries ready
for normalization [with Israel] but they condition normalization on
Israeli withdraw from occupied lands," the papers note.

Al Quds reports on its first page about the burial of "victims" of
the recent U.S. strike on Syria and quote Syrian officials calling
the strike a, "dangerous aggression." In its editorial, Al Quds
condemns the "aggression" and reports separately that Iraqi
officials are concerned over its implications on Iraqi-Syrian
relations. Reporting adds that Syrian crowds shouted anti-Bush and
anti-U.S. slogans. Egypt and the EU have expressed concern over the
strike while statements from Paris called for "self restraint," the
paper concluded.

"The two-state solution is reeling under the blows of Israeli
settlement activities," according to Palestinian Authority Prime
Minister Fayyad who is quoted on all front pages. Fayyad added that
Palestinians, "won't accept any state at any cost." Fayyad's
statements were made at a local economic conference where experts
agreed that the Palestinian economy will not be significantly
affected by the international financial crisis.

Al Quds and Al Ayyam prominently report on inside, "local news"
pages about the October 27 "solidarity" visit of Consul General Jake
Walles to the Ramallah area West Bank village of Turmusayya, "where
many U.S. citizens live." Showing pictures of Walles picking
olives, the papers run quotes from Walles stating that, "the attacks
against innocent [Palestinian] farmers during the olive season are
unacceptable. We hope that these attacks stop. We have discussed
the issue of halting these attacks with the Israeli authorities."
Walles also commented on US-Palestinian relations, stating they were
"excellent" and reaffirmed U.S. commitment to the peace process. Al
Quds' story added that Walles attended the first international
soccer game to be held in the Palestinian Territories for many years
on October 26.

On inside pages, the dailies report that Palestinian Authority
security forces, which deployed to the southern West Bank city of
Hebron last week, made their first arrests on October 27. In other
security news, Al Ayyam runs a front page report about a Palestinian
schoolgirl in Gaza who suffered moderate injuries during Israeli
shelling of her school.

The front pages of Al Ayyam and Al Hayat Al Jadida cite news
agencies in reporting that Israeli election campaigns have already
begun and polls show Kadima party leader Livni leading ahead of
Likud party leader Netanyahu.

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------

1) Al Quds' first editorial opines under the title, "Interest and
reconciliation during the lost time" (10/28): "This lost time
[during U.S. and Israeli elections] should be used to put the

JERUSALEM 00001956 002 OF 002


Palestinian house in order since we do not know who is going to rule
Israel or the U.S. after their elections, and the wind, as is
usually the case, might not blow in the [Palestinians'] favored
direction...
2) Al Quds' second editorial opines under the title, "U.S.
aggression on Syria"(10/28): "We cannot find any justification or
explanation for the breech of the borders of a sovereign state by
anyone, therefore these [U.S] aggressions are met with nothing but
denunciation and condemnation and demands that Washington officially
apologize and provide suitable compensation to the families of the
victims. The Iraqi Government, that is currently reviewing a U.S
security agreement, should also apologize if it had knowledge of the
aggression or apologize and feel ashamed if it did not have
knowledge of the aggression."
3) Rajab Abu Sarraya editorializes in Al Ayyam under the title
"America and Israel: Changes on the horizon" (10/28): "The U.S.
elections might be very close as they were in 2000 when some 500
votes proved decisive... the changes resulting from the election may
well go beyond the look or color of the democratic candidate,
although Western culture has long exhibited arrogance in dealing
with the "colored" world... Obama's victory could eventually reform
the U.S. from the inside in a way that will qualify it to lead the
world in a different way from the previous republican
administration. Israel will be most affected by changes in
America... When will the Palestinians notice that they do not live
in this world alone and that they need to achieve their interests in
the most effective way? When will they capitalize on the internal
dynamism that will make internal changes possible..?"

Walles

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