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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (12/09): The Other Enemy:

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091159Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3474
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7436
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4419
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4269
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5763
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4185
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2755

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JERUSALEM 002210

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 (12/09): THE OTHER ENEMY:
INTERNAL DIVISION

Please note that Palestinian newspapers are not printed on December
9, 10, 11, in observance of Eid al Adha.

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
December 8
All dailies led with reporting on Gaza. Israel prevented a
"solidarity" boat with humanitarian supplies, organized by Israeli
Arab Knesset member Ahmad Tibi, from leaving Israel's Jaffa port for
Gaza on December 7. Al Ayyam cites AFP when quoting a senior
Israeli official from a December 7 cabinet meeting, noting that the
truce with Hamas has completely collapsed and that Israeli Premier
Olmert has asked the military to draft possible responses to rocket
attacks from Gaza. Al Ayyam reported on a December 7 meeting in
Jerusalem between Palestinian Authority Premier Fayyad and Israeli
Defense Minister Barak. Fayyad asked Barak to end the Gaza "siege"
and allow money transfers into Gaza. Al Hayat Al Jadida reported
that Barak responded with vague promises to allow the cash transfers
"soon." Al Ayyam reported on Gaza's only power plant in Gaza
closing down because it ran out of fuel on December 7. Finally, in
another front page article, the paper notes that Fatah has called
upon Gazans to fly black flags at their homes to protest Hamas'
continued "de facto" rule of Gaza.
Al Hayat Al Jadida's front page cited AFP when quoting Secretary of
State Rice noting on December 7 that she does not expect significant
progress in the peace process until president-elect Obama takes
office. Rice also added that she expects that Palestinians will
establish an independent state under the leadership of Mahmud Abbas
in the near future, according to reporting.
Al Ayyam's front page cited AFP in quoting former U.S. Ambassador to
Israel Martin Endyk stating on December 7 that Israel should not
expect a blank check from the Obama administration. He added that
the incoming U.S. administration would adopt policies to create an
environment that is safer and more peaceful, in contrast to
President Bush's policies, the paper reported.
All papers front paged the names of 250 Palestinian prisoners that
Israel was to release on December 8 as a goodwill gesture. Al Hayat
Al Jadida reported that the list represented but a very small
percentage of the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners still being detained
in Israel.
Al Quds and Al Hayat Al Jadida quoted Israeli Premier Olmert stating
during a December 8 cabinet meeting that recent settler violence in
Hebron and throughout the West Bank was, "organized terror" and an
"organized massacre." He added that he has ordered his Defense
Minister to show no mercy in dealing with the perpetrators of
violence, according to reporting.
All papers published Consul General Walles Eid al Adha message on
inside pages. Walles promises to work with his Consulate team to
continue efforts to realize a Palestinian state, living in freedom
and prosperity.
---------------
WEEKEND STORIES
---------------------------

December 7
All front pages highlighted that, "settlers continue attacks in the
Hebron and Nablus areas." Papers noted that despite "extensive
deployment of Israeli forces," Palestinian houses were set on fire
in the Old City of Hebron by settlers from Avraham Avino while other
houses were targeted in the vicinity of Qiryat Arba'a settlement.
Papers also reported that hundreds of settlers and their supporters
held a two-day prayer vigil in front of the evacuated Rajaby
building in Hebron and were "escorted" by Israeli soldiers and

JERUSALEM 00002210 002 OF 003


police forces. In photo coverage, Al Quds and Al Ayyam showed a
burnt out Hebron house, while Al Hayat Al Jadida highlighted Israeli
"left-wing peace activists" demonstrating in Tel-Aviv to demand the
withdrawal of all Israeli settlers from the West Bank. In related
news, all papers front paged reports that the UN Security Council
passed a non-binding resolution commending Israel's eviction of
settlers from the Rajaby building and condemning the resulting
settler attacks on Palestinians.
UNRWA will run out of food supplies by December 9 and the Gaza power
plant will shut down at noon, according to all front pages. In a
press conference, UNRWA officials demanded international
intervention to allow for supplies to enter the Strip to feed more
than 750,000 Palestinians who depend on UNRWA assistance.
Headlines also highlighted calls by the Governor of the Palestinian
Monetary Authority Governor and the World Bank on Israel to allow
for money transfers to Palestinian Authority employees in Gaza.
Al Ayyam's front page reported that Hamas will not accept
Palestinian Authority President Abbas remaining "one day past the
end of his term." A Hamas spokesperson on December 6, expressed
"resentment" over what he called "the media campaign" against Hamas
and its positions and relations with Arab countries. He added that
the escalating pressures against Hamas will not force the group to
change its fundamental positions and stressed that Hamas will not
accept extending President Abbas' term beyond January 9, 2009.
December 6
Chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmad Quray "denounced Israeli official
silence on settler attacks," adding that conditions in the
Palestinian Territories were "explosive," according to Al Quds' and
Al Ayyam's front pages. Quray considered that Israeli officials'
silence on the "systematic aggression" signaled a tacit approval
that encourages settlers to continue their bloodshed and destruction
of property in the Old City of Hebron. The Old City of Hebron,
Quray added, has been subject to the most aggressive settler attacks
since the beginning of reconstruction efforts and the deployment of
Palestinian security forces to Hebron. The Israeli Government's
silence aims to "foil" efforts by the Palestinian leadership to
enforce rule of law, and therefore, undermines peace efforts as a
whole, Quray concluded. In related reporting, Al Quds' noted that
Israeli security sources expressed their concern that the "price" of
Israeli extremist right-wing violence may be the inflaming of all of
the West Bank.

Al Quds and Al Hayat Al Jadida ran wire reporting on, "American
troops to act upon Bagdad's approval following the ratification of
the agreement with Washington" (Al Hayat Al Jadida). The papers
noted that General Odierno asked his troops on December 5, "to be
ready for slight modifications in their MO", particularly since all
operations carried by American troops will require prior approval by
the Iraqi government according to the signed agreement that will
come into effect beginning of 2009.

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

1) Talal Okal opined in Al Ayyam under the title, "Israel
responsible ... yes, but what about division?" (12/08): "While
touching on components of the Gaza catastrophe, it would be nonsense
to continue talking about the responsibility of the Israeli enemy;
this is more than clear, but we need to highlight that Palestinian
division is another important reason for this catastrophe, which
threatens to lead to a total collapse."
2) Palestinian National Council member Azmi Khawaja opines in Al
Ayyam under the title, "The Popular Front for the Liberation of

JERUSALEM 00002210 003 OF 003


Palestine on its forty-first anniversary" (12/08): "There is no
alternative to [internal Palestinian] dialogue, to bridging the gap
and forming a unified Palestinian policy with the consent of all
Palestinian factions, so that we can face our bitter reality and
remain steadfast in the face of occupation."
Walles

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