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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/10): Internal Palestinian

VZCZCXRO3198
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1871/01 2841126
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101126Z OCT 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2987
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 7355
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4335
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4188
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5682
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4104
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2669

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001871

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 (10/10): INTERNAL PALESTINIAN
TALKS: "WELCOME TO THE ARAB SOLUTION"

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Main Stories:
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The three dailies and Ma'an run lead stories about internal
Palestinian dialogue. Al Quds and Al Ayyam run headlines about an
"Egyptian Road Map" that aims to eliminate Palestinian division in
nine months. Al Hayat Al Jadida's headline reads Palestinian
Authority Ambassador to Egypt, "Amr: The coming days shall witness
the real test of Hamas' stand," while Ma'an's headline highlights,
Amr's comment, "Hamas has to seriously think about becoming a real
partner."

Responding to rumors of an upcoming regional visit by Secretary
Rice, Al Quds' front page runs comments by Sa'eb Erekat, chief PLO
negotiator, stating, "we have not been informed of [Rice's]
schedule." The paper adds that Palestinian sources expect Rice's
visit to come after Israel's Kadima party chief Tzipi Livni forms
her new government.

Al Quds and Al Hayat Al Jadida release protocol photos of Sri Lankan
President Rajapaksa receiving Palestinian Authority President Abbas
in Colombo. The front page stories briefly note that Abbas and
Rajapaksa discussed Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

Al Quds front pages and other dailies give inside coverage to the
visit of Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair to Cairo. In comments
to the press, Blair highlights the need for Palestinian unity while
Egyptian Foreign Minister Abul Ghayt confirms that Blair delivered a
report to Egypt about Palestinian security reform, including
Palestinian Authority security efforts in Jenin and Nablus.

The three dailies run front page stories about Israelis storming the
Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on October 8 during Yom Kippur.
Al Quds headline reads, "Palestinian Authority Grand Mufti condemns
settlers storming of the mosque." Reporting highlights the Mufti's
comments that the incident comes on the 18th anniversary of the "Al
Aqsa massacre" in which 20 Palestinian were killed when "Jewish
settlers" attempted to place a corner stone for a new Jewish temple.
The Mufti also calls for stronger Arab support for the compound
which the Mufti fears will be damaged by Israeli excavations under
the mosque.

All front pages carry short, factual stories about Jewish-Arab riots
on Yom Kippur in the Israeli city of Acre. Citing news agencies,
reporting notes that four Jews were arrested and 15 Arab residents
injured in the clashes along with property damage to cars and shops

Al Hayat Al Jadida cites an Israeli website in its front page
article about Palestinian "operatives" who fired a rocket on October
9 from Gaza onto the Israeli Kissufim Gaza crossing. No damages
were reported.

Al Quds and Al Hayat Al Jadida continue front page reporting on the
"world financial crisis." Al Quds runs an AP story quoting Russian
Prime Minister Putin saying the crisis has, "completely discredited"
America's image as leader of the free world and that levels of
confidence in U.S. leadership will never be fully restored. Al
Hayat Al Jadida runs a wire story with comments by World Bank
President Robert Zoellick about difficulties faced by developing
countries due to the crisis.

Al Ayyam and Al Hayat Al Jadida report on inside pages that Israel's
water company has stopped the supply of water to the Palestinian

JERUSALEM 00001871 002 OF 002


West Bank town of Yatta near Hebron. Reporting does not give a
reason for the cut noting only that 80,000 Palestinians will be
affected.

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BLOCK QUOTES:
------------
1. Regular columnist Mohammad Yaghi opines in Al Ayyam independent
daily under the title, "A dialogue to buy time" (10/10): "Many Arab
countries see the controversy surrounding the Palestinian Authority
Presidency as a continuation of the demise of the PLO. They are
trying to avert the collapse and fall of the PLO into the hands of
Hamas, which, if it were to happen, would constitute a dramatic
change in the rules of the political game. The change would rebound
back against the Arab regime, because Hamas is part of the Islamic
Brotherhood, virtually the only movement that challenges this
regime."

2. Columnist Talal Okal opines in Al Ayyam independent daily under
the title, "Welcome to the Arab solution" (10/09): "setting aside
optimistic statements and rigid ones [about internal Palestinian
dialogue], deeds on the ground prompt citizens to feel more
pessimistic and expect more signs of division... There is a feeling
that the Arabs intend to enforce the solution that they deem
suitable. However, if the Arabs cannot enforce their [preferred]
solution... then what awaits Palestinians could be worse than [the
lack of unity] that they have lived with so far."

Walles

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