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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/12): Palestinian Authority

VZCZCXRO8768
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2021/01 3171145
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121145Z NOV 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3216
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 7397
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4377
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4230
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5724
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4146
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2712

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JERUSALEM 002021

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 (11/12): PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
RESPONSIBILITIES TOWARDS JERUSALEM

-------------
Main Stories:
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Rallies commemorating the fourth anniversary of former Palestinian
Authority (PA) President Yasir Arafat's death lead news in all
dailies. The rallies were attended by thousands of Palestinians on
November 11 and papers note that rallies were "disrupted" by the
Israeli Defense Forces in the West Bank and disrupted by Hamas in
Gaza. PA President Abbas made statements reiterating PA commitment
to Arafat's values and national unity, and promised to bring Gaza
back under PA control. Papers also quote Abbas reacting to Hamas'
accusations that the PA is swayed by outside influences, commenting
that his government follows no American or other "veto", but rather,
is guided by PA interests. All front pages publish photographs of
Abbas giving a speech before a rally in Ramallah. Al Hayat Al
Jadida adds a front page photo of an IDF soldier pinning a
Palestinian youth to the ground during a rally.

All front pages report on the "unprecedented", low number of
Palestinians in Jerusalem, two percent, who voted in Israel's
Jerusalem municipal elections. The papers add that Palestinian
Jerusalemites boycotted the elections, heeding a call by Palestinian
"national forces" and political figures in the city not to
legitimize Israeli control of the occupied city. Reporting
continues that Israeli police arrested 13 Palestinians on a main
shopping street in East Jerusalem, accusing them of "inciting"
people not to vote.

The front pages of Al Quds and Al Ayyam run November 10 quotes by
U.N. Secretary-General Ki-moon calling on president-elect Obama to
make the Middle East peace process his top priority. Al Quds runs a
related front page story about French Foreign Minister Kushner
arriving in Washington with a EU proposal for joint EU-U.S.
involvement in continued Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and
policies targeting Iran. The paper calls the proposal an
"interesting development" as it suggests widening current EU
involvement in the Middle East peace process beyond financial and
technical support.

The three papers' front page reports that UNRWA will be forced to
stop food distributions in Gaza to 750,000 Palestinians on November
13 if Israeli closures of Gaza crossings continue. In related news,
Al Ayyam's front page reports that Israel resumed the transfer of
industrial fuel to Gaza on November 11, allowing enough fuel to
enter the Strip to power the electricity plant for 30 hours. The
delivery was only a fraction of fuel waiting to be delivered,
reporting notes. A Hamas spokesperson commented that, Israel
"tricked" the world into believing that they had resumed fuel
shipments in an effort to ease, "anti-Israel tension in Arab
countries." Finally, inside page reports in all dailies run the
denunciation by the Al-Mizan Human Rights Center in Gaza of Israel's
"blackmail" policy to force ill Gazans to "collaborate" in exchange
for permission to leave the Strip for medical treatment.

Al Quds' front page reports that an advisor to Hamas leader Haniyyah
revealed that Hamas secretly met in Gaza and via video conference
calls with advisors to then presidential candidate Obama. The
Americans asked that meetings be kept secret so as not to affect the
outcome of elections, according to the report. Meanwhile, Al
Ayyam's front page reports that the Hamas "government" denies the
existence of such meetings. In a released statement, Hamas
commented, "We would not be afraid to announce such meetings, had
they taken place, but everybody knows that the Gaza Strip is under a

JERUSALEM 00002021 002 OF 003


crippling siege..." The statement continued that the incoming U.S.
administration would face a, "serious moral test" regarding whether
or not their policies will "respect democracy and Palestinian
rights."

---------------
Veteran's Day
---------------

Tuesday, November 11

Al Ayyam's lead photo shows President Bush and president-elect Obama
walking together at the White House, reporting that the two
discussed transition issues.

Al Quds' and Al Ayyam's front pages reported that the E.U. expressed
"deep concern" over the recent destruction of several Palestinian
houses in Jerusalem, calling the actions illegal under international
law. In related reporting, Wafa news agency reported that Israeli
police evicted the Al-Kurd family from their house in the East
Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, despite an official U.S.
"diplomatic complaint."

Al Ayyam led with Arab League preparations for a ministerial level
summit to complete a "comprehensive evaluation of the peace
process." Palestinian Authority President Abbas is expected to
deliver a speech at the event about, "the Palestinian vision for
peace with Israel", the paper reported.

Al Quds and Al Ayyam reported on their economic pages that a
delegation from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem visited the West
Bank city Nablus Chamber of Commerce on November 10 to meet with
representatives of the Palestinian Stone and Marble Union. The
delegation discussed the role played by the economic and trade
sections at the U.S. Consulate in supporting the Palestinian private
sector. The Foreign Commerical Service representative noted the
recent visit by Secretary Rice to Jenin as an example of U.S.
support to Palestinians and explained that his Tel Aviv office works
to ease Israeli restrictions on market access for Palestinian
products. Palestinian union representatives revealed that an
agreement will be signed next month with the American stone and
marble union regarding marketing of Palestinian products in the U.S.
The papers noted that the agreement came as a result of the group's
Foreign Commerical Service-funded trip to the United States last
month.

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

1) Al Quds runs an editorial titled, "Municipal elections and the
fate of Jerusalemites" (11/12): "There was a call to boycott
Israeli municipal elections since participation is considered to be
tantamount to recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
There was almost a complete boycott... [now] every Jerusalemite
facing the threat of house demolition, asks what is next...
Jerusalemites who boycotted elections expect alternatives [from the
Palestinian Authority] and they deserve support and substantial
budgets to sustain their steadfastness through deeds not just
words."

2) Jawad Bashiti opines in Al Ayyam under the title, "The story of
the USA and imported oil" (11/12): "The U.S. addiction to cheap,
imported oil won't remain without its inevitable consequences. That

JERUSALEM 00002021 003 OF 003


is, a weakening of the strategic security of the American economy...
Obama has... [tried to] reduce opposition to a bill that would allow
oil drilling in new fields in the U.S. as if he is ignorant of or
chooses to ignore the fact that such drilling will be very
expensive... This is proof that the president-elect now needs to
wash out his electoral campaign illusions with a good shower of hard
facts."

Walles

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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