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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/14): Which Comes First: Unity

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OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1237/01 1960821
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140821Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2114
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC//DAS-ZD/DACS-ZK//
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7203
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4188
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4041
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5539
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3957
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2522

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JERUSALEM 001237

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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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (7/14): WHICH COMES FIRST: UNITY
OR NATIONAL DIALOGUE?

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------
The July 13 joint press conference held by Palestinian Authority
President Abbas, Israeli Premier Olmert and French President Sarkozy
on the margins of the Paris Mediterranean conference leads coverage
in all dailies. Al-Quds quotes the three leaders: Abbas stated
that, "we are serious about achieving peace and committed to the
road map," while Sarkozy reconfirmed that, "we strongly support the
establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state." Olmert
stated that, "reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians is
closer than at any time in the past." Al- Ayyam reports that Olmert
promised Abbas to release Palestinian prisoners and the remains of,
"Palestinian victims" while Abbas asked Olmert to stop settlement
activities and bolster the Hamas/Israel truce in the Gaza Strip,
emphasizing that the world will not feel secure until peace prevails
in the Middle East.

All front pages report on Israel's announcement that the Hizbollah
prisoners' exchange deal will be implemented on July 16. Fatah
leader in southern Lebanon, Sultan Abu Al-Aynin Fatah, also
confirmed on July 13 that the exchange deal will include the return
of the remains of 160 Fatah members. In related news, Al-Quds runs
a July 7 article from the Israeli daily Yediot claiming that
kidnapped Israeli soldier Shalit is imprisoned in a tunnel in the
Gaza Strip.

Al-Ayyam reports that a Hamas delegation headed by Khalid Mish'al
arrived in Yemen on July 13. The delegation was received by the
Yemeni President who suggested organizing a conference for
"reconciliation" between Fatah and Hamas in Doha.

The visit of Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama to the
Palestinian Territories is front page news in Al-Ayyam. Barak will
meet with Palestinian Authority President Abbas on July 23, the
paper notes.

---------------
Weekend stories
---------------

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Al Quds led with, and others front paged, news of "intensive
Syrian-Egyptian calls," on Hamas to accept Palestinian Authority
President Abbas' proposal to launch a national dialogue. Official
Palestinian sources revealed in statements published on Al Quds'
website that Abbas will meet with leaders of Palestinian factions in
Syria in the coming week to discuss preparations for the dialogue.
The same sources reported that Damascus and Cairo are calling
"intensively" on Hamas to at least agree with Fatah on next steps
towards ending internal Palestinian division.

All dailies ran headlines announcing the intention of the
Palestinian Authority Government (PA) to call on the Quartet to
reverse the Israeli decision to close Nablus institutions, according
to the PA Minister of Economy Hassounah who visited Nablus on July
12.

The three dailies reported that Israeli police have been on high
alert in Jerusalem since July 12. The police have, "conducted
wide-spread incursion campaigns into the Old City of Jerusalem,"
following an attack on two Israeli policemen at Lion's Gate on July
11. Dailies led with the same photo of young Palestinian men lying

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shirtless on the ground, after being arrested by Israeli authorities
in the Old City of Jerusalem at dawn on July 12.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The three dailies led with news about the July 11 meeting of
Palestinian Authority President Abbas with Italian Prime Minister
Berlusconi in Italy. In a joint press conference, Abbas said, "We
need international and Italian support in order to push the peace
process forward." Abbas added that he discussed the security and
economic situation in the Palestinian Territories with his Italian
counterpart. Al Ayyam quotes Abbas stating, "We hope that the
Mediterranean summit, which will take place on July 13 in Paris,
will give a positive push to the peace process and provide economic
support to the Palestinian Authority."

All dailies covered news about Hamas leader Haniyyah's agreement to
a proposal by the Carter Center to monitor Hamas' and Israeli
adherence to the Gaza Strip truce. The proposal was made to
Haniyyah by two delegates from the Carter Center during a July 11
meeting in the Gaza Strip. Coverage detailed the Carter Center's
policy that condemns the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and
Israeli operations in the West Bank.

Israeli security operations on July 11 in the West Bank attracted
front page headlines. Papers gave their daily roundup of Israeli
Defense Force operations: one Palestinian was killed near the
northern city of Salfit; 13 Palestinians were arrested in Al
Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah; two Nablus factories were,
"attacked"; demonstrations against the separation barrier were
dispersed in the Ramallah area villages of Ni'lin, Bi'lin, and Al
Khudar. Al Quds lead photo showed Palestinians and international
peace activists resisting attempts by the IDF to break up an
"anti-wall" demonstration in Bi'lin and throwing stones at the
soldiers. Al Hayat Al Jadida's lead photo showed anti-wall
protesters holding a large placard saying, "this is apartheid."

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

1. Al-Quds prints its daily editorial entitled, "Obstacles to
Palestinian dialogue"(7/14): "...the overwhelming majority of [the
Palestinian] people ...believe that dialogue is the solution [to
internal Palestinian division]...[however]... the most dangerous
obstacle in the way of dialogue is that many [Palestinians] who
appear on TV as patriots, wholeheartedly devoted to... dialogue...
have a very different opinion when they appear elsewhere! Some have
even begun to describe the dialogue as being the problem... we are
in need of comprehensive reform throughout the Palestinian house...
[we need to implement] previous Palestinian agreements, especially
the Cairo and Prisoners' document in order to establish a new PLO
through which it will be possible to reform the other [government]
branches..."

2. Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by Jamal Zaqut entitled, "Unity in
the homeland now... a priority that should precede dialogue"(7/14):
"Since Abu Mazin launched his initiative to restore unity, Hamas...
has made the initiative into a game of words...and when [Hamas]
witnessed the extent to which Palestinian, Arab, and even
international voices welcomed [the initiative], Hamas submitted a
letter to the Secretary General of the Arab League in which it
refused the initiative... meanwhile, Palestinian Premier, Salam
Fayyad, surprised Hamas with a political and positive... dual

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attack...in order to revive the Abbas initiative: 'unity in the
homeland now...' what is Hamas waiting for [before it acts] to
counter the Israeli attempt to destroy the national project [by
dividing the homeland and splitting it up into cantons]...?"

Lapenn

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