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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/07): Palestinians Not

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DE RUEHJM #1847/01 2811035
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071035Z OCT 08 ZDK PER NUMEROUS SVC
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2958
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7351
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4331
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4184
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5678
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4100
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2665

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001847

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 (10/07): PALESTINIANS NOT
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT INTERNAL TALKS IN CAIRO

JERUSALEM 00001847 001.2 OF 002


-------------
Main Stories:
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Al Quds leads with, "Hammad: Dialogue must succeed in order for new
elections to proceed." Quoting Palestinian Authority (PA)
Presidential political advisor Nimer Hammad, the story notes that
the advisor calls upon all Palestinian factions to engage in the
internal Palestinian talks to be held in Cairo, "with goodwill."
Hammad also calls for no further discussion regarding reports about
PA President Abbas running for office in future elections, stating
that the issue is not under discussion. Al Ayyam leads with, "Hamas
delegation to Cairo presents four vetoes of proposals for a
technocrat government and new elections." The paper quotes Hamas
objections to establishing a technocrat government, conducting
reform to security in Gaza (not the West Bank), disregarding
previous election results and "dealing with Gaza separately."
The lead story in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida quotes Palestinian Authority
(PA) President Abbas confirming that the PA, "will adhere to
whatever Arabs decide regarding [Palestinian] national unity. Those
who do not accept [the decision], will have to bear the
consequences." Abbas' statements came during his visit to India,
where he also commented that, "peace negotiations with Israel shall
continue towards a comprehensive agreement that does not leave out
any issues ... [however], this year will, inevitably, end without a
peace agreement."
Al Quds' front page reports that Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony
Blair will arrive in Egypt on October 9 to prepare for a meeting of
representatives from the Quartet, Palestinian and Israeli
negotiating teams.
The world economic crisis is featured on all front pages. Running
wire stories, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida runs a headline, "black day in
world markets," while Al Ayyam's headline notes that the crisis is
"rocking Wall Street... U.S. calls for unified global action." Al
Quds runs a large, highlighted box with four wire stories from
Paris, New York, London, and Tel Aviv, describing the impact of the
crisis in each capital.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and Al Ayyam report on their front pages that
Hamas "legislators" decided in a "parliament session" that
Palestinian Authority President Abbas' term will end on January 8,
2009. They also called upon Abbas to task the elections committee
with preparing for new elections. Hamas "Legislative Council Deputy
Speaker" Ahmad Bahr chaired the session and is quoted calling for
national reconciliation, while another Hamas official Faraj Al
Ghoul, is quoted stating that the Palestinian Legislative Council's
deputy speaker will take office after Abbas.
Al Quds' publishes the results of a public opinion poll conducted by
Near East Consulting on its front page. The poll shows that 63% of
Palestinians want Palestinian Authority President Abbas to continue
in office, while 37% do not. The poll also revealed that 88% of
Fatah supporters want Abbas to stay in office.
Al Quds notes in a prominent front page story that Palestinian
Authority (PA) Prime Minister Fayyad announced that the PA will pay
next month's salaries to public employees. Fayyad comments came
after the PA's weekly cabinet meeting. He also stated that he
expected the financial situation of the PA to be better next year.
Al Ayyam's front page highlights comments from the meeting offering
the ministers' support for the "steadfastness" of the old city of
Hebron and calling for a lifting of Israeli barriers and
check-points. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida highlights news that the cabinet
has approved funding for cultural activities in Jerusalem to
celebrate the city as the "Arab cultural capital of 2009," which is
part of a UNESCO- affiliated program.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports in a front page story that Palestinians

JERUSALEM 00001847 002 OF 002


are filing a case with the Israeli Court in Jerusalem to seek
$427,000 in damages for the failure of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)
to evict Israeli settlers from the illegal West Bank outpost of
"Migron." The complaint alleges that IDF soldiers protect the 40
settler families instead of implementing an existing Israeli court
order to remove them. The court case is the first of its kind
before the Israeli courts.
Al Ayyam's front page reports that Hamas leader Masha'al told press
that there has been no progress in negotiations for the release of
captured Israeli soldier Shalit.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's front page runs a short wire story about a UN
statement that the war in Afghanistan [against the Taliban] will be
lost.
------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. Al Quds prints an editorial titled, "No positive signs preceding
dialogue" (10/07): "If Hamas rejects the idea of a national
consensus government and calls for a national government to be
headed by them; and if Hamas insists that President Abbas' term ends
on January 9, it is difficult to see that there is any basis for
agreement [with other Palestinian parties]. If all Palestinian
factions, except Hamas, agree to new legislative and presidential
elections, why reject that proposal? Why do some reject it if they
enjoy strong popular support? Why doesn't Hamas aspire to winning a
sweeping majority in the legislative elections and winning the
presidential elections as well, as long as they are confident that
they enjoy all the people's trust? Anyway, what is needed is to
immediately stop doing anything that might hinder the proposed
dialogue or pre-determine its outcome before the talks even begin,
if the national interest is really the priority."

2. Al Ayyam publishes an opinion piece by Hani Al Masri titled,
"The common enemy: Occupation, Fatah or Hamas?" (10/07):
"Continuing the [internal Palestinian] division will lead to the
destruction of everything... the main beneficiary, if not the only
one, is the occupation. Division won't lead to the ascension of
Hamas and downfall of Fatah, but rather it will lead to the downfall
and defeat of all parties of the Palestinian national movement,
national and Islamic, to the benefit of Israeli alternatives,
including first, the status quo with no solution, an Israeli
uni-lateral solution, the reintroduction of the Jordanian option and
Egyptian mandate, adoption of an international solution that serves
Israeli interests, or a solution that reinforces a canton-state with
temporary borders."

Walles

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