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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (12/03): "Europe to Activate Its

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O 031039Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3431
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
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RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7430
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4412
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4263
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5757
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4179
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2749

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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

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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (12/03): "EUROPE TO ACTIVATE ITS
ROLE IN PEACE PROCESS"

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Main Stories:
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All dailies lead with photos and reporting on December 2 Israeli
settler and military attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. The
dailies report that settlers attacked Palestinians and property in
the Hebron area. Fifteen people were injured, including three
children and an elderly woman. The papers add that settlers slashed
tires on more than 20 Palestinian cars and set fire to a few
thousand dollars worth of animal feed. Near Nablus, settlers
sprayed graffiti on a local mosque with slogans insulting the
prophet Mohammad, "death to Arabs" and the star of David, the papers
report. Area students were also harassed by settlers, who may have
come from the nearby settlements of Rechelim, Eli and Shilo,
reporting continues. Meanwhile, residents of two Ramallah area
villages, "found racist slogans written in Hebrew painted on the
floors of two mosques," the dailies report.
Palestinian Authority President Abbas condemned recent Israeli
settler attacks and threatening to bring the incidents before the
U.N. Security Council if Israel fails to reign in the settlers,
according to Al Quds' and Al Hayat Al Jadida's front pages. The two
papers continue that Israeli troops installed new security measures
on December 2: a new gate on the Nablus-Tulkarim road and a
checkpoint near the Nablus village of Dir Sharaf.
In Gaza news, Al Quds' front page reports on a December 2 Israeli
air strike that killed two Gazans and injured four others. In a
separate incident, an Israeli drone attacked a group of Palestinians
near Gaza airport, the article notes. The paper continues with
comments that Gaza crossings remain closed for the 27th consecutive
day per the Israeli Defense Minister's order. In another front page
article, Al Quds quotes Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister
Fayyad warning on December 2 that Gaza Banks will not be able to
disburse salaries to PA employees since Israel continues to block PA
cash transfers to Gaza.
Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Fayyad called on the
international community to take "complete responsibility" for the
peace process, especially in light of Israel's continued violations
of signed agreements, according to Al Quds' and Al Ayyam's front
pages. Fayyad made his comments during the launch of a $57 million
USAID-funded health flagship project in Ramallah on December 2. "We
are celebrating [this project], however, we cannot ignore Israel's
daily actions against Palestinian citizens," Fayyad remarked. He
also highlighted the December 1 "assassination" by Israeli forces of
a former Al Aqsa Brigades member in Nablus and condemned Israeli
settler attacks in Nablus and Hebron. Fayyad called on the EU to,
"think long and hard" before upgrading its cooperation with Israel.
Turning to the USAID project, he reiterated the importance of
revitalizing the Palestinian health sector, while the PA Minister of
Health highlighted that the USAID project is unprecedented in its
size and "reflects the right kind of awareness." Consul General
Jake Walles added that the 5-year project will contribute to
improving the health sector in the West Bank and Gaza, while USAID
Director Howard Sumka noted that the project reflects Palestinian
priorities and is the fruit of many years' intensive efforts.
Al Quds' front page cites Israeli daily Haaretz in quoting a senior
Israeli diplomat revealing that president-elect Obama is considering
the appointment of former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer
as Special Envoy to the Middle East. The paper opines that a
presidential-level envoy instead of a State Department envoy can be
seen as a sign of U.S. interest and "serious involvement" in the
Middle East peace process.
Al Ayyam's front page reports that the EU Commission in Jerusalem
announced on December 2, 42 million additional Euros in assistance
to the Palestinian Authority. The amount includes one million Euros

JERUSALEM 00002183 002 OF 002


from Austria, reporting notes, and will be used for expenses related
to public services through the end of the year.
Al Quds' and Al Ayyam's front pages report that a French Foreign
Ministry spokesman told journalists on December 2 that any upgrade
of EU relations with Israel should take "progress in the peace
process", into consideration. Al Ayyam's and Al Hayat Al Jadida's
front pages cite news agencies in quoting Israeli Foreign Minister
Livni from Brussels on December 2, urging the EU to support the
U.S.-sponsored peace process instead of proposing new initiatives.

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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1) Al Quds' editorial is titled, "Europe seeks to activate its role
in the peace process" (12/03): "There are positive indicators to
suggest that Europe is moving in a serious and realistic fashion
towards implementing the road map's call for freezing [Israeli]
settlement activities and reopening Palestinian organizations in
Jerusalem, while also coordinating efforts with the incoming U.S.
administration... the real test for the European efforts will be to
see if [Europe's] can walk side-by-side with the U.S. in these
regional efforts."

2) Jawad Bashiti writes in Al Ayyam under the title, "We are to
blame for the international economic and financial crisis" (12/03):
"Had we [Arabs] invested our hard currency into our own, real
economy, we would have made a great contribution towards averting
the world's financial crisis. Without the Arab financial
"surpluses" that we [invested in western] banks and financial
institutions, [the West] would not have succumbed to the temptation
of what they call, "irresponsible lending", and thus, they would not
have destroyed the temple over their and our heads."
Walles

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