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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (9/09): Continued Palestinian

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DE RUEHJM #1681/01 2530925
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O 090925Z SEP 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2731
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 7310
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4292
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4145
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5639
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4060
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2626

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001681

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 (9/09): CONTINUED PALESTINIAN
DIVISION MEANS "A DESTINY OF SLAVERY"

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Main Stories:
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The three dailies lead with news from the September 8 meeting of
Arab League foreign ministers held in Cairo. Citing news agencies,
they report that Saudi Foreign Minister Al Faysal called for, "an
Arab mechanism" to help launch inter-Palestinian dialogue. The
ministers condemned the continuing Israeli "siege" on the Gaza
Strip, and reaffirmed Israeli settlements as illegal under
international law, according to coverage. In related front page
stories, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas told press after
the meeting, that should a comprehensive agreement with Israel not
be reached, the PA will continue to deal with the Olmert government
and the American administration. Abbas further clarified that
Olmert is still the Israeli Premier and his counterpart in
negotiations with Israel.

On September 8, Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad and the
Palestinian Authority cabinet welcomed the support of the European
Parliament on the issue of Palestinian prisoners jailed by Israel,
according to all front pages. Speaking after the weekly cabinet
session, Fayyad told press that, "the prisoners issue has been
introduced and discussed for the first time by the European
Parliament," referring to the Parliament's September 4 resolution
that welcomed the recent release of 198 Palestinian prisoners by
Israel and supported the release of additional prisoners, including
Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghuthi. Fayyad credited the PA with
stimulating the European debate, noting it was the result of the
PA's, "efforts to free all prisoners from Israeli jails."

On its front page, Al-Quds highlights that Palestinian Authority
(PA) President Abbas would win new elections according to a joint
Palestinian-Israeli poll conducted from August 25 to September 1,
2008. The poll shows that 53% of Palestinian respondents would vote
for Abbas while 39% would vote for Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyah as
president. Reporting next highlights that 78% of Israelis support
the release of Palestinian Fatah Leader Marwan Al-Barghouty in
exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The paper further
reports that a majority of Israelis and Palestinians (79% and 58%
respectively) support the two-state solution. The poll was
conducted by the Palestinian Center for Surveying and Political
Research and the Truman Institute.

Citing AP, Al-Quds reports that Palestinian Authority (PA) President
Abbas will meet with President Bush on September 26 at the White
House. PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaynah explained that the two
presidents will discuss "the destiny" of Israeli-Palestinian talks,
according to the report.

Statements by U.S. Consul General Jake Walles reaffirming U.S.
commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state and U.S.
support to the "serious" on-going negotiations are front page news
in Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. The statements are part of
coverage about the Consul General's Iftar, hosted in Ramallah on
September 8. Reporting also underlines Walles' "confidence" that
peace in the Middle East will continue to be a priority for any new
U.S. administration. Al Quds runs similar coverage on page 3.

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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1. Independent Al-Quds editorializes in "The strikes..." (9/8): "We
are experiencing extraordinary, catastrophic conditions in all
aspects of our political, economic and daily lives. The on-going

JERUSALEM 00001681 002 OF 002


strike [by teachers and health care workers] is increasing the
suffering and hardship...if the strike continues, hundreds [more]
students and ill people will suffer... Everybody should understand
that the [strikers'] demands are reasonable and just, but instead it
seems impossible [for political leaders] to meet them... We urge
everybody to be responsible in fulfilling their national duty."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by daily columnist
Muhannad Abdul Hamid entitled, "Do we decide our destiny...or is it
decided for us?!!" (9/08): "The first step [towards freedom and
independence] starts with a solution to the inter-Palestinian
conflict through true, national reconciliation. Without security,
institutional and political reform, without respect for democracy;
without the elimination of revolution, oppression and corruption...
we will not find a path to political closure [with Israel]. If we
do not advance bravely and responsibly towards determining our own
destiny of freedom and independence, a different destiny will be
decided for us, a destiny of slavery."
WALLES

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