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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/26): "Gloating Over American

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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR ABRAMS
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PARIS ALSO FOR POL
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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (11/26): "GLOATING OVER AMERICAN
WEAKNESS"

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Main Stories:
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News of the humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to dominate
front pages. All dailies highlight, and Al Quds leads with news
that Israel again closed crossings on November 25, just one day
after reopening them to allow for the entry of limited supplies of
food and fuel. The Strip's only power plant has shut down due to
lack of fuel and an Israeli incursion into the eastern area of Khan
Yunis on November 25, destroyed greenhouses and water reserves,
papers note. The dailies warn of a "health catastrophe" due to the
lack of chloride to purify well water. Al Quds quotes UNRWA
Operations Director John Ging describing the situation in Gaza as
"shameful and disgraceful." Ging notes that current supplies in
Gaza cover 10% of UNRWA's daily distribution needs and added that
70% of Gaza has no electricity, hospitals are using candles for
light, and mills use wheat cattle feed for bread. Al Hayat Al
Jadida's front page also runs November 25 statements by the U.N.
Secretary calling on Israel to lift the Gaza "siege" and desist from
all actions harming peace, while he also called on Palestinian
groups, including Hamas, to unite.

Al Hayat Al Jadida and Al Ayyam lead with photos and statements by
Palestinian Authority President Abbas about new elections in the
West Bank and Gaza. Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting
in Ramallah on November 25, Abbas said, "[Hamas] needs to realize
that sooner or later elections must be held and if they do not
succeed this time, they should accept the results as we did before."
Abbas stated that he would invite international election observers.
When asked about a reported ban on Fatah activities in the Gaza
Strip, Abbas called the ban "ridiculous," and not worth discussion.
In related news, Al Quds' front page cites Israeli daily Haaretz in
revealing that Hamas leadership in exile wants the group to cede
control over Gaza, while Hamas leaders in the Palestinian
Territories want greater representation in the group's "Shura",
congress.

Al Quds' front page reports that Arab foreign ministers will meet in
Cairo on November 25, to discuss the Palestinian issue. Egypt's
Foreign Minister Abu Ghayt will brief on the status of internal
Palestinian talks. The gathered leaders are expected to urge all
Palestinian parties to cooperate with Egyptian efforts for
Palestinian unity, the paper reports. In related news, Al Quds'
front page reports on a poll by Nablus' Al Najah university, showing
that 75% of Palestinians believe that some countries have worked to
undermine Cairo unity talks; 39% would vote for a Fatah presidential
candidate and 17% would vote for a Hamas candidate.

Al Hayat Al Jadida's and Al Ayyam's front pages cite "news agencies"
in reporting about, "a stormy meeting between Bush and Olmert." The
paper cites "U.S. sources" telling Israel's Depka website, an outlet
close to Israeli intelligence, that Olmert accused the U.S. of
contacting Hamas. The paper also notes that the two leaders told
press after the meeting that the two-state solution is the only way
to settle the Palestinian-Israel conflict. Al Ayyam adds that
Western diplomats continue to have contact with Hamas, despite
Quartet objections. In related news, Al Ayyam's front page cites
Time magazine in reporting on Jordanian mediation between Israel and
Hamas to achieve an end to rocket attacks on Israel. The paper
reports that the U.S. requested Jordan mediate in an attempt to stop
Israeli plans to invade the Gaza Strip.

U.S. Consulate General, Jerusalem activities are recorded on inside
pages of the dailies: Al Quds reports that Consulate employees and

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their spouses made a Thanksgiving monetary and food stuff donation
to the Holy Family Orphanage in Bethlehem on November 25. Al Hayat
Al Jadida reports that the U.S. Consulate held their second "Career
Day" event this year for Palestinian university students and
companies, with co-sponsor Young Entrepreneurs of Palestine in
Ramallah on November 25. The same paper reports that USAID Director
Sumka attended a conference inaugurating a new season for the Simsim
[Sesame Street] children's program.

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

1) Al Ghafli opines in Al Quds under the title, "The upcoming
American hegemony" (11/26): "Everyone should hide their gloating
over the American state of weakness, caused by the policies of
outgoing President Bush, and avoid giving the impression that their
wish is for continued weakness or a collapse of the USA, if they
want to extend the hand of partnership to incoming president Obama
[and have Obama accept the offer of partnership."

2) Hamada Fara'ana writes in Al Ayyam under the title, "Electing
the President of the Palestinian state is a brave political step"
(11/26): "The decision by the [PLO] Central Council [to elect
Palestinian Authority President Abbas, President of State] is a...
legal, constitutional step, that shows a proactive and brave spirit,
and requires... the second step of calling for simultaneous
legislative and presidential elections based on a fully proportional
electoral system."

Walles

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