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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/29): Arab Peace Initiative -

VZCZCXRO7623
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1967/01 3030722
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 290722Z OCT 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3129
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 7378
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4358
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4211
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5705
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4127
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2692

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001967

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 (10/29): ARAB PEACE INITIATIVE -
"LAST UNILATERAL CONCESSION"

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Main Stories:
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Al Quds leads with news of "unprecedented floods" in Gaza and all
front pages run prominent photos of flooded streets. Reporting
notes damage to roads and homes, making "many" families homeless.
Gazans blame the Israeli blockade for the lack of machinery needed
to combat flooding, papers report. In other Gaza news, a "Free
Gaza" movement ship is expected to set sail from Cyprus for Gaza on
October 29, carrying foreign, Israeli and Palestinian nationals
calling for a lifting of the Israeli "siege" on the Strip. Unlike
the first boat that reached Gaza in August this year, Israeli
authorities have vowed to block the entry to Gaza of this second
"Free Gaza" boat, according to reporting.

Al Ayyam and Al Hayat Al Jadida lead with news about early Israeli
elections in February 2009. The papers quote Israeli Minister of
Interior Sheetrit and Minister of National Infrastructures Ben
Eliazer calling for a halt to peace negotiations with the
Palestinians and Syria. The three papers also report calls made by
British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Bill
Rammell, that Israel halt settlement activities.

All papers run highlighted stories on inside pages about the October
28 cornerstone laying by Consul General Walles, Palestinian
Authority Prime Minister Fayyad and USAID Director Sumka for a new
library in the West Bank town of Beit Jala. Accompanied by photos
of the principals, the papers run lengthy comments by Walles
reiterating U.S. support for the two-state solution and continued
U.S. commitment to the peace process after U.S. presidential
elections. In separate reporting, Al Quds highlights a second
October 29 Consulate activity on an inside page: Public Affairs
Officer Schweitzer-Bluhm gave a presentation on U.S. elections via
digital video conference with the American Corner at Al Azhar
University in Gaza.

The three papers front-page statements by Palestinian Authority
Prime Minister Fayyad from an October 28 meeting with police
commanders in the West Bank city of Hebron stating, "We are about to
launch a national project to end the occupation and establish an
independent state. What we are [doing] right now is laying the
foundations of a state through the establishment of strong and
effective institutions."

Al Ayyam's front page reports that an Israeli security officer
killed a Palestinian youth in Beit Shemen in Israel. Quoting the
Arab48 website, the paper says that the officer fired at three
Palestinians, "who seemed to be Arabs" because he thought they
wanted to break into his house.

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

1) Al Quds editorial opines under the title, "A political crisis
for Israel or the peace process?" (10/29): "The internal Israeli
crisis... [is] closely related to the peace process and negotiations
with Palestinians... [Israeli Kadima Party leader] Livni's failure
to form a coalition government proves that underlying the Israeli
political crisis are extremist, radical positions regarding the
peace process. This connection will continue until the majority of
Israelis recognize that peace and coexistence can only be realized
by ending the occupation, settlement activities and establishing an
independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

JERUSALEM 00001967 002 OF 002

2) Regular columnist Hani Habib writes in Al Ayyam under the title,
"The Arab peace initiative... the return of the lost son" (10/29):
"There is a proposal ready for implementation. Anyone discussing
peace should start implementing instead of discussing amendments or
negotiating articles here and there... [the Arab states] should be
firm in their proposal, [rejecting] any amendments, so that the Arab
initiative becomes the last unilateral concession necessary to
achieve peace."

Walles

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