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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/20): Iraqi Security Agreement

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OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2082/01 3250953
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200953Z NOV 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3298
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 7411
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4391
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4244
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5738
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4160
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2726

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 002082

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 (11/20): IRAQI SECURITY AGREEMENT
"ENDS IRAQ"

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Main Stories:
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Al Ayam and Al Hayat Al Jadida lead with news of Israel's continued
closure of Gaza crossings. Al Ayyam quotes Israel's Defense
Minister Barak telling Israeli Defense radio on November 19 that
Hamas must enforce the ceasefire among Palestinian factions, before
Israel will reopen crossings. Al Hayat Al Jadida further notes that
Barak's statements came in response to recent UN calls on Israel to
open Gaza crossings. The paper adds that UNRWA food supplies that
support 750,000 refugees are running low and that UNRWA has
announced that it will soon be forced to stop cash assistance to
98,000 Gazans. Al Ayyam's lead photo shows Palestinians in Gaza
waiting for bread after the largest bakeries stopped production due
to a lack of flour caused by the crossing closures.

Al Quds leads with news about the Arab Foreign Ministers meeting
that will discuss the peace process and Palestinian division on
November 26. The paper reveals that Palestinian Authority President
Abbas will boycott the meeting because he is angry over the failure
of Arab League Secretary General Amr Mousa to openly blame Hamas for
the failure of Palestinian talks in Cairo. Reporting continues that
Hamas plans to attend the meeting while the League has stated that
Hamas' participation must be approved by Abbas. In related news, Al
Quds' front page reports that Fatah member Mismar revealed on
November 19, that Fatah will delay its party convention until
internal Palestinian division is ended. On an inside page, the paper
runs related news that Egypt has sent an addendum to its Palestinian
unity proposal to Palestinian factions. The text has been reviewed
by "relevant Arab states."

The removal by the Israeli Jerusalem municipality of a "protest
tent" related to a Jerusalem house eviction is front page news in
all dailies. The tent was erected by the Palestinian Jerusalem Al
Kurd family who were evicted last week so that "Israeli settlers"
could take possession of the property. The papers publish front
page photos of the tent removal and statements by family supporters
that they will erect another tent. Al Quds adds that the protest
action has attracted much media attention and that Israeli police
arrested five supporters near the tent. In related reporting, Al
Quds reports on an inside page that Israeli settlers in Hebron are
bracing for a showdown with the Israeli military that has been
ordered to evacuate them from a four-story building. Israeli
Defense Minister Barak confirms that he will execute the order, but
only after first attempting to persuade the settlers to leave
peacefully, reporting notes.

Al Hayat Al Jadida front pages statements, by Israel's President
Shimon Peres describing recent comments by British Foreign Minister
Miliband about Israeli settlements as "painful" to Israel. During a
recent visit to the Palestinian Territories, Miliband urged Israel
to halt settlement activity that he deemed, "an obstacle to peace."


Al Hayat Al Jadida's front page reports that the Palestinian
Authority will run announcements about the Arab Peace Initiative in
Israeli media. The announcements are aimed at "convincing the
Israeli public to accept the initiative," according to Yassir Ab'd
Rabbo, PLO Executive Committee Secretary. Rabbo explained that the
Israeli public, "does not understand the initiative, as they only
hear about it from Israeli officials who have distorted and
criticized it." In related reporting, Al Quds' front page notes
that Palestinian Authority President Abbas is on an unannounced
visit to Amman to discuss regional developments with the Jordanian

JERUSALEM 00002082 002 OF 002


King.

Al Quds' front page cites a report by the Palestinian Central
Statistics Bureau revealing that 33,000 Palestinian children are
engaged in child labor and 800,000 live in poverty.

Al Quds' and Al Ayyam's inside pages publish warnings issued by the
U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem about visa fraud schemes.
Speaking during a press roundtable, the Consulate fraud prevention
officer also explained procedures for applying for the U.S.
diversity visa lottery.

On an inside page, Al Hayat Al Jadida publishes a photo of USAID
Director Huward Sumka and Palestinian partners inaugurating
renovations at a school and clinic in Shawawra village near
Bethlehem. Sumka is cited stating that the American people are
committed to assisting the Palestinian people to create conditions
for a dignified life.

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

1) Jawad Bashiti writes in Al Ayyam under the title, "An agreement
that ends occupation by ending Iraq!" (11/20): "The USA, unlike
what some might think, isn't weighing whether or not to leave Iraq,
but rather is deciding between having a military presence in a
united Iraq or in only parts of Iraq, a country which was one, but
now is divided. The [security] agreement is strong proof that the
U.S. decided to take the second option. By signing the agreement,
the Maliki Government has signed an agreement that ends U.S.
occupation in Iraq, by eliminating Iraq itself."

2) Majid Azzam writes in Al Quds under the title, "The peace
process replacing peace" (11/20): "Thirty years ago Henry Kissinger
created the term "peace process" so as to ensure the continuity of
the process, regardless of [achieving] peace itself. ... I think we
can expect a similar model of the Annapolis process replacing the
peace process; meaning that, what matters is not the outcome or the
achievement of a final, comprehensive, and just peace, but rather,
just the Annapolis process itself."

Walles

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