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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 TEL AVIV 002757

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR NEA STAFF

SECDEF WASHDC FOR USDP/ASD-PA/ASD-ISA
HQ USAF FOR XOXX
DA WASHDC FOR SASA
JOINT STAFF WASHDC FOR PA
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL FOR POLAD/USIA ADVISOR
COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE FOR PAO/POLAD
COMSIXTHFLT FOR 019

JERUSALEM ALSO FOR ICD
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IS KMDR MEDIA REACTION REPORT
SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION


--------------------------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

1. Mideast

2. Iran

-------------------------
Key stories in the media:
-------------------------

All TV and radio stations broke out with the escalating
situation on the Israeli northern border. According to
reports, Hizbullah has kidnapped two Israeli soldiers.
The Hizbullah attack began with missile fired towards
Israeli settlements, wounding four people. Later
Hizbullah's TV station, Al Manar, reported that the
organization has kidnapped two IDF soldiers. The TV
station later reported that the two kidnapped soldiers
are in a 'safe' location and that Hizbullah would be
willing to exchange them. The IAF is reported to be
intensely firing towards targets in southern Lebanon.
Israeli TV 1 reports that there is also a ground
operation. All media noted that northern border
residents have been asked to enter bomb shelters. TV
Channel 1's military commentator and correspondent
reports that, according to his sources, it sounds as if
extreme actions (the word war is being used) are to be
expected. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened an
urgent cabinet meeting this evening.

Israel Radio reported this morning that in an IAF
helicopter attack on a house in Gaza's densely-
populated Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, where several
Hamas leaders were believed to be gathering to plan
terror attacks, senior wanted terrorist Mohamed Def was
slightly injured. According to Palestinian sources the
blast caused the three-story structure to collapse,
burying people under the rubble. six people were
killed, among them a mother and three children; 24
people were wounded. Hamas spokesmen say it will react
in a sever manner to the IDF's attack.

All media reported that the IDF has expanded its
actions in the Gaza Strip shortly after midnight
Tuesday, when infantry soldiers and tanks entered
central Gaza for the first time since Operation Summer
Rains began two weeks ago. In this operation the IDF
has the cut Strip in two.
Israel Radio this morning reported that two Qassam
rockets landed south of Ashkelon on Wednesday morning.
There were no casualties. The radio also reported that
IDF troops arrested 15 wanted Palestinians in the West
Bank before dawn on Wednesday.

Ha'aretz reported that the U.S. rejected a revised
draft of a UN resolution on the Israeli offensive. The
revised draft U.N. Security Council resolution was
drafted by Qatar.

Yediot reported that in a meeting between Israeli
Foreign Ministry officials and international
humanitarian organizations that operate in the
territories, the latter said that medicines in Gaza
will run out within two weeks.

Maariv reported that the Israeli Navy wishes to
purchase two advanced American war ships the Littoral
Combat Ship-Israel.

Yediot reported that the Israeli security establishment
has requested from the U.S. Pentagon assistance in
finding a solution to the Qassam rocket firings. The
paper noted that it is possible that in the near future
the "Phalanx" system will be brought to Israel for a
trial period. The system usually serves as a defense
system against mortar shell rockets.

Yediot publishes a poll according to which 49 percent
of the public is against the realignment plan. Only 38
percent support it.

President Moshe Katzav affair:
*Ha'aretz reported that at least five more women who
worked with Katzav before he became president said he
sexually harassed them.
*All media reported that Attorney General Menachem
Mazuz has instructed the police to open an
investigation into the mater on Tuesday.
*Maariv reported that even before the investigation
began, Knesset feelers have already started checking
into the possibility of impeaching the president.
*Commentators opined that it seems it is the end of the
road for President Katzav.

-----------
1. Mideast:
-----------

Summary:
--------

Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev
Schiff wrote on page one of independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (7/12):"The release of Shalit has become more
complicated after both sides have turned the issue into
one of principles and prestige.... A lot depends on the
creativity of the mediators, and whether the deal will
be broadened to include other matters."

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner opined in left-
leaning, independent Ha'aretz (7/12): "The U.S. has a
clear interest in blocking Hamas, which is disconnected
from the Israeli interest. If Hamas demonstrates that
it is possible to hitch a ride on the back of the
democratic process to implement a radical Islamic
ideology, its accomplishment will undermine the United
States' chances of succeeding in its moves to found
democracy in the region."

Block Quotes:
-------------

I. "Limited Success"

Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev
Schiff wrote on page one of independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (7/12): "After two weeks of the Israel Defense
Forces' Operation Summer Rains in the Gaza Strip, the
General Staff cannot consider its main goals met. The
necessary operational conditions that would enable the
release of Corporal Gilad Shalit have not been
achieved. The second goal, minimizing the Qassam
rocket attacks, has only been partially achieved.
Rockets are still being launched from the northern Gaza
Strip against the western Negev, but the incidence is
lower. Israel has also failed to pressure internal
Palestinian groups so that they would force a change in
the stance of Hamas, and Syria has also not been
convinced to act against the group.... Israel's
achievements in the operation are limited. The
government and the General Staff believe that they
enjoy a certain degree of international and public
legitimacy for a forceful operation against Hamas,
considered to be a terrorist organization. This
support could easily evaporate in face of a major
operational mistake.... At an early stage pressure on
Syria was considered an option for convincing Meshal to
end the military confrontation. However, Syria is also
pressured by Iran to continue backing Hamas and
encourage its demands for prisoner release in return
for Shalit. Tehran has broader strategic interests
including undermining Egyptian and Jordanian influence
in the region.... The release of Shalit has become more
complicated after both sides have turned the issue into
one of principles and prestige.... A lot depends on the
creativity of the mediators, and whether the deal will
be broadened to include other matters."


II. "Protecting Abbas"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner opined in left-
leaning, independent Ha'aretz (7/12): "How many times
has Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) failed to meet American
expectations, how many times have they looked around in
search of the next leader, 'the real one' and
nonetheless stuck with him. They didn't do this out of
love, nor out of hope, which had already faded. Abu
Mazen, the president of the Palestinian Authority, is
the default option. Without it there would remain only
one of two options, chaos or Hamas, which are
respectively American policy's two most bitter fears
today. Therefore the Americans will protect the leader
everyone already agrees is incapable of providing any
goods.... The U.S. has a clear interest in blocking
Hamas, which is disconnected from the Israeli interest.
If Hamas demonstrates that it is possible to hitch a
ride on the back of the democratic process to implement
a radical Islamic ideology, its accomplishment will
undermine the United States' chances of succeeding in
its moves to found democracy in the region."

--------
2. Iran:
--------

Summary:
--------
Independent, conservative Jerusalem Post editorialized
(7/12): "The 9/11 attacks and those that have followed
demonstrate that the free world faces an Islamist jihad
that recognizes no moral compunctions and seeks to
dominate the world. The free world must defend itself.
The longer we wait, the higher the cost of this defense
will be, and the more innocent lives will be
unnecessarily lost. The time to stop Iran is now."

Block Quotes:
-------------

Independent, conservative Jerusalem Post editorialized
(7/12): "Even if the Iranian regime changes tack again
and, at the last minute, starts sounding more
conciliatory, the situation is clear and has been for
years, ever since the regime was caught cheating on
pledges not to enrich uranium: The mullahs are
determined to build a nuclear bomb, and are daring the
world to try and stop them.... The 9/11 attacks and
those that have followed demonstrate that the free
world faces an Islamist jihad that recognizes no moral
compunctions and seeks to dominate the world. The free
world must defend itself. The longer we wait, the
higher the cost of this defense will be, and the more
innocent lives will be unnecessarily lost. The time
to stop Iran is now."
JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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