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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (08/19): Palestinians Continue To

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SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (08/19): Palestinians continue to
call for a full settlement freeze; Dailies feature Consul General's
farewell interview

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Main Stories:
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President Barack Obama's meeting with Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak on August 18 receives front page coverage in the local
press. Obama expressed his optimism about reaching a peace agreement
between the Palestinians and Israel, and called on the Arab states
and Palestinians to take confidence-building steps in order to pave
the way for a peace agreement in the region. Mubarak reiterated that
the Arab states won't take any steps towards normalizing relations
with Israel unless the latter completely halts all settlement
activity.

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Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam front page and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida runs inside
page coverage on Consul General Jake Walles' exit interview with the
three dailies on August 17. Walles spoke about his experience as the
Consul General and the friendships that he built over the past four
years. Walles praised the economic and security improvements
throughout the West Bank under the leadership of Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
and expressed his optimism about achieving an independent
Palestinian state in the next two years. Walles reiterated that
achieving peace in the Middle East is a priority for President
Obama, and that he will remain engaged until it is achieved. The CG
stressed that the US calls for a complete freeze on settlement
activity and home demolitions. Walles noted that the Sixth Fatah
Party Congress was an internal Palestinian affair, and said that he
did not intervene in its proceedings. Regarding Hamas, Walles
clearly indicated that if Hamas wants to have a role in the
political solution, it has to accept the Quartet principles.
Finally, Walles urged all Palestinians "not to lose hope."

Al-Ayyam runs front page news citing Wafa and Israeli daily Maariv
quoting Israeli right wing ministers noting on August 18 during
their visit to settlements in the West Bank that "the settlements
are legal and the construction will continue everywhere."

Al-Quds front pages news that an Egyptian security delegation
conducted a series of meetings on August 18 in Ramallah with
representatives from Hamas and Fatah in preparation for the next
round of national unity and reconciliation talks scheduled for
August 25 in Cairo. -------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
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1) Al-Quds independent daily runs an editorial under the title, "We
don't need good intentions, we need implementation" (08/19): "What's
important at this stage is not to show good intentions or repeat the
same statements. What counts is how to implement the vision of the
international community, how to force Israel to halt settlement
activity, how to prove the US administration's credibility and
seriousness about achieving peace, and how to prove its commitment
to putting an end to the conflicts in the region."

2) Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under
the headline "Did Israel freeze settlement construction?" (08/19):
"The Israeli game won't deceive the US or the EU anymore ... All
l
international players must force Israel to freeze settlement
activity now and forever. They all have the power to make Israel
abide by these demands and respect international law in order to

JERUSALEM 00001465 002 OF 002


rescue the peace process."

WALLES

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