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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (12/05): Hamas "Walking Into The

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DE RUEHJM #2196/01 3401049
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O 051049Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3446
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
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RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7434
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4416
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4267
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5761
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4183
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2753

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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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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (12/05): HAMAS "WALKING INTO THE
ISRAELI LINE OF FIRE"

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Main Stories:
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Israeli settler violence sparked by the Israeli military's December
4 evacuation of settlers from the Rajabi house in Hebron, dominates
all front pages. In reporting and photos, the dailies document
widespread rioting by settlers throughout the West Bank causing
injury to dozens of Palestinians and property damage to Palestinian
mosques, homes, cars, and grape vines. Papers add that settlers
blocked roads near Nablus and Jericho, pelting Palestinian cars with
stones, while settlers near Qalqilia painted area mosques with Stars
of David and "racist" slogans. In other "settler" news, Al Hayat Al
Jadida's front page reports that the Israeli police have arrested
two Jewish youths, suspected of stabbing a Palestinian in Jerusalem
on December 3.

All dailies report that Palestinian public outrage over settler
violence is mounting, putting greater pressure on the Palestinian
Authority (PA) to take action and protect the public. Several
Palestinian leaders, including PA President Abbas, his advisor Nabil
Abu Rudaynah and chief PLO negotiator Erekat criticized Israel for
failing to control settler rioting. Abbas and Abu Rudaynah called
on the UN Security Council to meet and discuss the violence and
provide protection for Palestinians. Erekat commented that settler
rioting undermines the peace process.

All papers front page reports on Israel allowing entry on December
4, to a limited supply of PA-provided fuel and medicine into the
"besieged Gaza Strip." Banks are still closed and have failed to
pay salaries to PA employees because of a shortage of cash caused an
Israeli block on PA money transfers to Gaza, the papers report. Al
Hayat Al Jadida also front pages reports on Israel allowing foreign
journalists to enter the "besieged Gaza Strip" after an almost
month-long ban.

The front pages of Al Quds and Al Ayyam report the Arab League
condemns the Israeli "siege" on Gaza and notes that Israel continues
to block a Libyan ship with humanitarian aid from docking along the
Stip. Al Hayat Al Jadida's front page cites Reuters in quoting a
Libyan representative at a December 4 UN Security Council meeting,
describing the Israeli "interception" of the ship as an act of
piracy. The Security Council held the meeting upon Libya's request,
but failed to reach any decision on condemning Israel, reporting
notes. Citing AFP, Al Ayyam's and Al Hayat Al Jadida's front pages
report on "harsh criticism" leveled against Israel at the UN Human
Rights Council meeting in Geneva on December 4, upon review of
Israel's human rights record.
Al Ayyam runs front page details of a French draft document
formulating EU strategies on several issues including the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The document confirms EU readiness
for a greater role in moving towards a "peace agreement." In the
document, the EU states that it plans to continue calls on Israel to
freeze settlement activities, allow for freedom of movement and the
reopening of Gaza crossing points in a bid to encourage economic
revival in the Palestinian Territories. The EU also expresses
readiness to "reactivate" their observer mission at the Egypt-Gaza
Rafah crossing point.

Al-Quds headlines that Middle East Envoy Tony Blair revealed that
"Palestinian and Israeli negotiators have reached an unannounced
agreement." The article, written by the paper's Washington
correspondent, does not specify the date of Blair's comment, noting
only that it was made, "as he departed Washington after a two-day
visit." Blair is further quoted asserting that the key to regional

JERUSALEM 00002196 002 OF 002


stability lies in the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Blair applauds the
nomination of Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State and
praises President Bush and his administration for exerting
"tremendous effort despite a very difficult situation." The article
notes that Blair plans a late December visit to the West Bank and
hopes to visit Gaza as well.

Al Hayat Al Jadida's front page cites AFP in quoting White House
spokesperson Perino announcing that President Bush will give a
speech on December 4 listing his achievements in the Middle East.
Bush is expected to speak about universal agreement on the two-state
solution.
Al Hayat Al Jadida reports on an inside page that USAID Director
Howard Sumka attended the celebration of the completion of a
USAID-funded project to renovate Rafidiyyah hospital in Nablus on
December 4. Sumka is quoted saying that the 1.2 million project was
done in partnership with the Palestinian Authority.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1) Rajab Abu Sarayyah opines in Al Ayyam under the title, "Decisive
weeks"(12/05): "In two weeks the truce with Israel will expire...
then, the U.S. president-elect will assume office... the way to
[Hamas'] salvation is clear, Gaza must return to the [Palestinian]
national and Arab body politic or it will walk right into the
Israeli line of fire."
Walles

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