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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (08/18): President Abbas Chairs

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DE RUEHJM #1461 2300658
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180658Z AUG 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5788
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7824
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4796
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4644
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6137
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4563
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3141

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001461

SIPDIS

STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC
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 (08/18): President Abbas Chairs
Weekly Cabinet Meeting

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Main Stories:
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The dailies front page news on the weekly cabinet meeting in
Ramallah on August 17 chaired by Palestinian Authority (PA)
President Mahmoud Abbas. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad presented
the president with a document that lays out a path leading to the
establishment of a Palestinian state in two years. Abbas praised the
work of the Prime Minister and his government, and renewed his calls
on Israel to completely halt all settlement activity. Al-Ayyam also
quotes Abbas saying that "We can't ignore the fact that Hamas exists
and is part of the Palestinian society. We are committed to
supporting the national unity dialogue with all factions."

News on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's meeting with Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton on August 17 also receives front page
coverage. The reports state that Clinton and Mubarak discussed the
Middle East peace process, noting that Clinton was optimistic a deal
could be reached. Mubarak noted that the Arab states will normalize
relations with Israel only after reaching a fair and comprehensive
peace in the Middle East, according to coverage.

Al-Ayyam front pages news that an improvement in the security
situation in the West Bank over the past two years led to a decision
by the US State Department to impose fewer travel restrictions on
its employees working in the West Bank. The report quotes a travel
warning issued by the State Department stating "the security
environment in the West Bank has improved markedly since June 2007,
with a significant increase in the number of trained Palestinian
Authority security forces deployed to urban areas such as Jericho,
Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jenin." -------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------

1) Muhannad Abdel Hamid opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under
the title, "Hamas: Outwardly Moderate, Inwardly Extremist" (08/18):
"As Hamas wants to be seen as a moderate Muslim faction, its leaders
have started announcing that they are in favor of the two state
solution and that they are willing to be part of a peace conference
... However, when the real test came, Hamas revealed itself as an
n
extremist movement. No matter how much power it takes, it won't
allow any faction to take over its role."

2) Ahmad Zakarneh opines in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida official daily under
the title "Extreme freedom, extreme chaos" (08/18): "We all want
freedom - freedom of expression, freedom of ideology, freedom of
belief. However, would we as Palestinians be able to manage and
enjoy this freedom? Would we be able to live with it without causing
chaos? Would we be able to appreciate how valuable it is to be free,
or would we forget about freedom and oppress each other the first
chance we have?"

WALLES

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