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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (02/26): Palestinian Press Report

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7696
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
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RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 5052
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4894
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000351

SIPDIS

STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC
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 (02/26): Palestinian press report
on the State Department reaction to Israel designating two holy
sites in the West Bank as Israeli heritage sites

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida leads with a headline stating that the State
Department criticized the Israeli decision to add two holy sites in
the West Bank to the list of Israeli heritage sites, calling it
"provocative." The dailies report on State Department Spokesman
Phillip Crowley noting that the US asked both the Israelis and the
Palestinians not to take unilateral actions that would harm the
chances for resuming peace negotiations.

In related news, the dailies report that for the fourth consecutive
day, protests in Hebron and confrontations between Palestinians and
peace activists and Israeli soldiers continued. Al-Quds reports that
Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Religious Affairs Al-Habbash
met with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa in Cairo yesterday
and called for an urgent meeting of the Arab Ministers of Religious
Affairs to discuss the implications of the "Israeli violations."
Reports also note that Prime Minister Fayyad is expected to perform
the Friday Prayers today at the Al-Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron.

Al-Quds front pages news that hundreds of settlers entered Joseph's
Tomb in Nablus last night under full protection from the IDF and
Israeli police. The settlers destroyed a school and wrote
anti-Palestinian statements on the walls.
Al-Ayyam continues to report that indirect negotiations between the
Palestinians and Israeli are expected to resume by mid-March. The
report notes that despite the "unclear" responses the US submitted
to PA President Mahmoud Abbas regarding the formula for
negotiations, Arab states seem willing to accept this initiative.
The report also notes that the Road Map, Resolutions 242 and 338,
and the Arab peace initiative will be the terms of reference for the
negotiations, according to the US responses.

The dailies report on President Abbas' meeting with the Greek
President and Prime Minister in Greece yesterday.
Abbas will participate in the Arab Follow-Up Committee meeting next
Tuesday.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that the UN General Assembly will discuss
the implementation of the Goldstone report's recommendations today.
The EU parliament calls for implementing the reports'
recommendations, according to reports.
------------
BLOCK QUOTE:
------------
Al-Quds runs an editorial under the title "The World Must Provide
Solutions to the Current Situation" which criticizes Israel for its
continued provocative measures in the Palestinian Territories and
accuses the Israeli government of distracting the world from
focusing on the real conflict and finding a solution to it. The
author believes that the peace process is indeed dead because if it
were still alive, he argued, Israel wouldn't have had the courage to
do what it is doing now.

-----------------------
Palestinian Cyberspace:
-----------------------
Daoud Kuttab, a prominent Palestinian blogger, blogged under the
title, "Are Serious Mideast Negotiations Around the Corner?" saying,
"The state [Israel] is ruled by right-wing hardliners that are not
likely to make the kind of difficult decisions needed to usher in a

JERUSALEM 00000351 002 OF 002


viable independent state of Palestine with contiguous borders, or a
solution to the issues of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees ... The
next few months will reveal whether we are seeing a major
breakthrough or just another mirage."
Palestinian cyberspace widely circulated remarks made by Harvard
professor Martin Kramer at the Herzliya conference under the title
"Harvard Prof Advocates Palestinian Population Control", saying "The
treatment of Palestinians has long been described as sub-human, and
now one Harvard professor treats Israel's refugee program like a
rodent infestation. Harvard University's Dr. Martin Kramer delivered
a speech in Israel recently, describing his answer to the
Palestinian refugee problem: population control. More specifically,
he suggests the international community to this by "stopping
pro-natal subsidies to Palestinians with refugee status."

RUBINSTEIN

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