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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/28): Potential Benefits Of

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3402
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RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4255
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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

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SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (11/28): POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF
"GAZA ISLAND"

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Main Stories:
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Al Quds leads with the collapse of the electricity grid in Gaza. An
electricity company representative explains that transformers
serving densely populated areas collapsed under the "intense
pressure" and lack of spare parts caused by Israel's refusal to
allow needed parts into the Strip. All papers report that Israel
resealed Gaza crossings on November 27, after a Palestinian
projectile was fired into Israel, "causing no damage." Al Quds'
inside page cites Israel's Ma'ariv daily in revealing that Hamas has
longer range rockets in Gaza that can hit Beer Sheva in southern
Israel. The paper adds that Hamas received the rockets from
Hizbollah.
In Gaza humanitarian news, Al Hayat Al Jadida's front page reports
that 45 trucks with food, animal feed and chlorine for water
sterilization were allowed into Gaza on November 27. Al Quds' front
page notes that a Gazan mother of five died on November 27, after
Israeli authorities prevented her from exiting Gaza for treatment in
West Bank hospitals. In economic news, Al Ayyam's inside page
reports that the Gaza closures might affect the cash transfer of
salaries to Gaza banks for payment to Palestinian Authority (PA)
employees. According to the story, Israel has not yet responded to
the PA request to send $47 million for that purpose.
Al Ayyam leads with PLO satisfaction over the Arab foreign ministers
meeting in Cairo. Citing "agencies", the paper quotes PLO Executive
Committee member Yasir Abd Rabbo describing decisions as, "in line
with PLO positions" and he urged Hamas to accept them. Al Quds
front pages a Reuters story noting that the Arab foreign ministers
declined to side with any of the conflicting Palestinian factions,
and declined to directly blame Hamas for the collapse of Palestinian
unity talks. The ministers also expressed support for Palestinian
Authority President Abbas to remain in office until new elections,
the paper reports. In a second front page story, Al Ayyam cites DPA
when quoting Egypt's Foreign Minister Abu Al Ghayt describing the
Cairo meeting as "fruitful" and noting that there was agreement on
approaching the next U.S. administration with a new Arab vision for
peace, to be presented in a paper prepared by the Arab foreign
ministers.
Al Hayat Al Jadida leads with, and all dailies front page,
statements by Palestinian Authority President Abbas' and Italian
President Napolitano, made during a joint press conference in
Bethlehem on November 27. Napolitano encouraged Palestinian
leadership to continue efforts towards ending the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict and affirmed Italian support for
negotiations. Abbas called on Israel to halt its, "harsh and
violent actions against Palestinians, including the continued
construction of settlements, the separation wall and installation of
checkpoints." Abbas added that, "without a cessation of aggressive
Israeli actions, peace can not be advanced in the region." Al
Ayyam's front page also quotes Abbas calling on president-elect
Obama to adopt the Arab peace initiative as the basis for
negotiations.
All dailies report in front page pictures and stories about the
opening of a trade fair in the West Bank city of Jenin by
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad, attended by Middle East
Quartet representative Tony Blair on November 27. In remarks,
Fayyad reissued warnings that Israel's West Bank settlement policy
is threatening peace and stability in the Palestinian Territories.
Fayyad urged the international community to implement its declared
positions and stop settlement activities. Fayyad continued that his
government is doing its utmost to enforce security and stability and
working to end the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. He concluded
by urging Israel to end its "siege" on Gaza, remove checkpoints and

JERUSALEM 00002164 002 OF 003


all other restrictions on Palestinian movement, noting that they
hamper the movement of goods and people, restricting the growth of
the Palestinian private sector.
Al Hayat Al Jadida's front page cites AFP in reporting on a rally by
"American Jews" in West Jerusalem on November 27, held to demand the
relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Al Ayyam's front page reports on a recent Israeli Government
"regional master plan for Jerusalem," that allows for the expansion
of illegal settlements while restricting Palestinian development.
Lawyers representing dozens of Palestinian residents of East
Jerusalem announced on November 27, intentions to challenge the plan
in Israeli courts. In background reporting, the paper notes that a
Jerusalem "master plan 2000" was introduced in 2004 and criticized
for excluding Palestinian input.
Al Quds' inside page reports that foreign journalists continue their
protest of Israel's ban on journalists to enter Gaza. Steven
Gutkin, Foreign Press Association head called the decision a
violation of press freedom during a November 27 press conference and
a joint letter to Israeli Prime Minister Olmert from ABC, BBC, CNN,
AP and the NYT has been sent demanding access to Gaza. The letter
has gone unanswered, the paper reports.
Thursday, November 27

All front pages report that Israeli daily Ha'aretz revealed on
November 26 that the Israeli military has been assassinating wanted
West Bank Palestinians in violation of Israeli High Court
guidelines. In other military and settler news, Al Ayyam's front
page reports that Israel's Defense Minister Barak stated that the
Israeli military will implement Israeli High Court orders to
evacuate Israeli settlers from the disputed Palestinian, Rajabi
family home in Hebron. Meanwhile, Al Hayat Al Jadida's front page
and Al Ayyam's inside page report that Israeli settlers threw stones
at Palestinians and slashed tires on 25 Palestinians cars in Hebron
while settlers near Nablus attacked Palestinian ambulances, spray
painting slogans of "death to Arabs."
Al Ayyam's front page cited AFP when reporting that the Bush
Administration has no intention of publishing a report written by
U.S. envoy for Middle East Security General James Jones. Analysis
described the report as a "political bomb" noting that State
Department Spokesman Robert Wood recently said that he has not aware
of any plans to publish it. The article continues that though a
similar report by Jones about Iraq was published, there has been no
explanation offered for why the report on Palestinian security will
not be made public.

Al Ayyam and Al Hayat Al Jadida's front pages report that the UN and
non-governmental agencies have made a combined appeal for $462
million dollars to respond to the "humanitarian emergency caused by
Israeli policies, such as West Bank settlements, the separation
wall, and the blockade of Gaza."
U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem activities are highlighted on
inside pages of Al Quds and Al Ayyam. The first report notes that
cultural affairs staff visited Hebron University on November 26 to
discuss cooperative projects, while the second report highlights the
second annual career day/job fair for Palestinian university
students, co-sponsored by the Consulate and local organization Young
Entrepreneurs Palestine was held on November 25. Al Ayyam reports
that the USAID-funded Ruwwad program worked with local Juhud
organization to distribute beehives to Palestinian farmers in
Tulkarim and Ramallah villages.

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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1) Al Quds editorial is titled, "Confronting [Israeli] settlements
is an international responsibility" (11/28): "The settlement
phenomenon relentlessly creeps forward to threaten not only the two
state solution, but also the very existence of the Palestinian
people on their land... we need more effective Palestinian action to
internationally highlight the dangers of settlements and their
destructive impact on the Palestinian existence... there is no doubt
that settlements and settlement expansion are the reason for the
freeze of the peace process... ending this cancerous phenomenon is
the only way to realize a just, comprehensive and lasting regional
peace."

2) Hamada Rajab Abu Saraya opines in Al Ayyam under the title,
"Gaza Island"(11/28): "Israel will continue remote monitoring of
"security transgressions" in Gaza, but that tradition could change
if more than food stuffs and humanitarian assistance were allowed to
flow in both directions. [For that to happen] Gaza would have to
cease being a security threat to Israel, separate from Israel and
the West Bank, and pose no security threat to Egypt. As long as
Gaza remained less than a state with no sovereignty over territorial
waters, but with autonomous rule, the situation might even achieve
regional goals, in addition to those of Israel."
Walles

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