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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (12/17): Rumors of a "Military

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DE RUEHJM #2252/01 3521117
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171117Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3532
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 7446
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4429
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4279
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5773
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4195
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2765

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 002252

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 (12/17): RUMORS OF A "MILITARY
FAREWELL TO BUSH" IN IRAN

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Main Stories:
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Al Quds and Al Ayyam lead and all front pages highlight news of the
U.N. Security Council's approval on December 16 of a resolution,
"encouraging a final-status peace agreement between Israel and the
Palestinians." The papers quote chief Secretary Rice asserting that
the establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue and the
occupation begun in 1967 should end. Chief PLO negotiator Erekat is
also quoted stating that resolution 1850 is the first to be adopted
by the 15-member council in five years, as well as being the sole
resolution specifically addressing the Middle East peace process.
All papers note that Israel and the Palestinian Authority welcomed
the resolution. Coverage also includes excerpts from the Middle
East Quartet statement expressing, "acute concern" over Israeli
closures of Gaza crossings and a call for the extension of the
Hamas-Israel truce.
Al Hayat Al Jadida leads with December 16 statements by Palestinian
Authority President Abbas on plans to hold elections in the West
Bank and Gaza "very soon." Abbas also called on Egypt and the U.S.
to exert efforts to extend the Israel-Hamas truce and blamed Hamas
for not having valid reasons to boycott intra-Palestinian talks.

President Bush will meet with Palestinian Authority President Abbas
at the White House on December 19, according to Al Hayat Al Jadida's
and Al Ayyam's front pages. Citing AFP, the papers note that the
leaders will discuss joint peace efforts: building viable
Palestinian institutions, greater economic development and continued
training of Palestinian security forces and their deployment in the
West Bank. In president-elect news, Al Quds reports on an inside
page that former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Ayalon told
Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post that president-elect Obama and his
Secretary of State nominee Clinton might support a land swap deal
between Israel and the Palestinians.
In military news, Al Ayyam's front page highlights reports on
Israeli air strikes in Gaza on December 16. The paper reports that
two Palestinian women and a journalist were injured and adds that
Palestinian groups responded by firing projectiles into the Negev
and on Sderot city in southern Israel. In the West Bank, Al Ayyam
reports on an inside page that Israeli military "stormed" Beit Umar
village and Al Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron and arrested 16
Palestinian youths, searched houses, and forced families to wait
outside their homes for the duration of the nighttime raid.
In settler news, Al Quds' and Al Ayyam's front pages report that
Israeli police demolished, for the fourth time, a tent sheltering
the Palestinian Al Kurd family who were evicted from their East
Jerusalem house in accordance with an Israeli court order last
month. Previous coverage has noted that the tent stood just outside
the family's former home which has been turned over to "Israeli
settlers," and had become a focal point for protests against the
eviction.
Al Ayyam's and Al Hayat Al Jadida's front pages report on a London
conference on investment in the Palestinian Territories held on
December 16. The conference yielded a decision to establish a $50
million "bailout fund" for Palestinian companies and a joint forum
for UK and Palestinian businessmen.

Al Quds' front page and other dailies' inside pages, run the results
of a recent poll jointly conducted by the Palestinian Center for
Policy and Survey Research and the Israeli Truman Institute at
Hebrew University. The results show that 51% of Israelis and 74% of
Palestinians support a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The poll
also reveals that 48% of Palestinians would vote for Palestinian
Authority Abbas and 37% of Israelis would vote for Likud party chair

JERUSALEM 00002252 002 OF 002


Netanyahu, if respective elections were held today.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
-----------------------

1) Al Quds' Khairy Mansur opines in Al Quds under the title, "The
last minute war" (12/17): "Many western Middle East experts have
pointed to mounting evidence of a "military farewell" for the Bush
administration, in the form of a [U.S.] military offensive against
Iran..., that would constitute the second war, after Iraq, in which
Tel Aviv will have led Washington by the nose, to accordance with
its own agenda."

2) Hani Al Hamada Farana writes in Al Ayyam under the title,
"International condemnation of Israel" (12/17): "Palestinians need
to wage a legal battle based on international norms of legitimacy to
force implementation of U.N. resolutions, and support such efforts
with a non-violent, peaceful intifada, to win international
solidarity to defeat the occupation and settlement expansion."
MARCHESE

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