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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/15): The Link Between National

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DE RUEHJM #1245 1971033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151033Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2125
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
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RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7206
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4191
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4044
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5542
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3960
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2525

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001245

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 (7/15): THE LINK BETWEEN NATIONAL
UNITY AND PEACE TALKS

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Main Stories:
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The prisoners' exchange deal between Hizbollah and Israel leads in
all dailies. The papers report that the two parties are making
final preparations for the July 16 exchange. Al-Ayyam reports that
celebrations are planned, "along the Israeli/Lebanese borders," to
mark the occasion. In related coverage, Al- Quds cites Israeli
daily Yediot Ahronot in reporting on Israeli security concerns that
Hizbollah will seek revenge for the February assassination of Imad
Mughniyah in Damascus, once the exchange deal is complete.

All dailies express outrage over the July 14 decision by the Israeli
Supreme Court to evict Palestinian tenants from a home in the East
Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Al-Quds reports that the
house is one of 27 houses that Israeli authorities claim are,
"Jewish owned, although they were built in the early 1950's." Fatah
organized a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah to protest the act, while
a Palestinian Authority Presidency official called the decision
evidence of a new Israeli eviction policy, the paper adds. In
related coverage, Al-Quds reports that 120 Israeli settlers on July
14 took over an abandoned Israeli military site, north of Bethlehem
in the West Bank. The paper notes that the settlers were protected
by ten Israeli soldiers.

Al-Ayyam's front page highlights news about Nablus and Gaza: In
comments by Yasir 'Abd Rabbo, Secretary General of the Executive
Committee of the PLO, during a July 14 visit to the West Bank city
of Nablus, characterizes recent Israeli operations in the city as
attempts to marginalize the Palestinian Authority. Regarding Gaza,
the front page announces that Israel will allow more goods to enter
the Gaza Strip, if the truce holds.

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

1. Independent Al-Ayyam prints an editorial by Muhannad Abdul Hamid
entitled, "All roads are closed to the [national] unity initiatives"
(7/15): "...the initiative by [Palestinian Authority President] Abu
Mazin [to begin a dialogue with Hamas] has gained special attention
because it was presented by... the PLO's Executive Committee and the
Presidency and because it could influence Palestinian, regional and
international attitudes. However ...the initiative found no
resonance with... Hamas [and]... failed because... nothing has been
achieved in [Palestinian-Israeli] negotiations. In other words,...
negotiations [have failed] as a sole means to end the occupation and
reach a political solution which the majority of the Palestinian
people will accept..."

Lapenn

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