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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (08/20): Egypt Continues to Work

VZCZCXRO6877
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1480 2320818
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200818Z AUG 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5813
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC//DAS-ZD/DACS-ZK//
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7827
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4799
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4647
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6140
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4566
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3144

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001480

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 (08/20): Egypt continues to work
with Palestinian factions for national reconciliation

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Main Stories:
-------------

Al-Quds front pages news citing Government of Israel sources denying
an earlier announcement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that
the GOI would not be issuing any new tenders for settlement
construction until early 2010. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that the
GOI is planning to revive a dormant construction project of 450
housing units in the Pisgat Ze'ev settlement in East Jerusalem,
quoting Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs and Vice Premier Moshe
Yaalon saying that construction will continue and that he "isn't
afraid of the Americans." Netanyahu is quoted in Al-Ayyam
criticizing and rejecting Yaalon's statements.

All dailies front page news on Palestinian Authority (PA) President
Mahmoud Abbas's trip to Sudan and his meeting with Sudanese
President Omar Al-Bashir in Khartoum on August 19. Abbas noted to
the press that the PA is determined to support the national dialogue
with Hamas and end the state of division. He said that his trip to
Sudan is to discuss regional developments and to coordinate Arab
efforts to move the peace process forward.

The local press continues to report on the Egyptian delegation which
visited the West Bank to meet with Palestinian factions in
preparation for the next round of the national reconciliation
dialogue scheduled for August 25 in Cairo. Before departing for
Syria on August 19, the delegation received assurances that all
factions are committed to supporting the dialogue and reconciliation
efforts.

Al-Quds runs inside coverage on General Paul Selva's visit to the
Nablus Chamber of Commerce and Industry on August 19. General Selva
met with a number of dignitaries and was briefed about the economicQd political situation in the governorate and the consequences of
continued Israeli restrictions on Palestinian trade and industry.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------

1) Talal Okal opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under the title,
"The Palestinian dialogue, new dimensions" (08/20): "In preparation
for the next round of national reconciliation talks, there is still
l
an extreme lack of confidence between Hamas and Fatah, a deep gap
that is nurtured by the incitement and accusations from each party
... In continuing its support of the dialogue, Egypt must realize
that there is still a long way to go until Palestinian unity can be
attained. The Egyptian role must be intensified to bridge the gaps
prior to announcing signs of progress."

2) Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul opines in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida official daily
under the title "What is Netanyahu's response to Mubarak?" (08/20):
"President Mubarak noted that the Arab states are ready to accept
any peace settlement that would end the conflict in the region.
However, the Israeli government and Prime Minister Netanyahu are not
only determined to reject any freeze in settlement activity, but
continue to provide the financial resources to support the continued
construction. This makes any peace agreement almost impossible."

WALLES

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