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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (08/21): Palestinians Await New Us

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DE RUEHJM #1486 2330900
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O 210900Z AUG 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5818
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7828
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4800
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4648
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6141
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4567
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UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001486

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 (08/21): Palestinians await new US
peace plan

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Main Stories:
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All front pages lead with news that US Special Envoy George Mitchell
is finalizing the peace plan that the US will unveil early next
month. The reports note that President Barack Obama telephoned
Jordanian King Abdullah on August 20 to say that the US wants to see
the Palestinians and Israelis pursue peace talks as soon as
possible. Obama urged the Palestinians, Israelis and Arab states to
take positive steps to support this process, according to coverage.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs is quoted in the local press
saying that "President Obama announced that George Mitchell will be
meeting with both parties during the next weeks to discuss the
measures that the Israelis and Palestinians have to take on in order
to lay the foundations for the peace talks."

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and Al-Quds front page news that the US State
Department complained to the Government of Israel about the new
travel restrictions imposed on US citizens travelling to the West
Bank and Israel. The reports note that the State Department is
awaiting clarification concerning these measures before any future
steps are taken. The report also quotes State Department Spokesman
Ian Kelley noting that the US expects all American citizens to be
treated equally regardless of their national origin.

The local press highlights the tensions inside the Israeli
government after the August 19 statement by Israeli Minister of
Strategic Affairs and Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon in which he
criticized the Peace Now movement - calling it a "virus" - and
stressed that settlement construction will continue despite US
pressure. The reports note that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu is seeking clarification from Yaalon.

Al-Quds front pages a report on an opinion poll that was carried out
jointly by an Israeli-Palestinian polling center on US policy in the
Middle East. 64% of the Palestinians polled believe that President
Obama's policy is biased towards Israel, while 45% of the Israelis
polled believe that Israel must respond positively to US pressure in
order to pursue the peace process.

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BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------

1) Samih Shbeib opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under the
title, "Prospects of the Palestinian Dialogue" (08/21): "I totally
believe that if Hamas and Fatah want to end the internal division
and support the national unity dialogue, they can do so immediately.
However, regional powers are not yet ready for such a
reconciliation. This is what is obstructing and will continue to
obstruct the Palestinian dialogue."

2) Al-Quds independent daily runs an editorial under the title
"Endless arguments about settlements?" (08/21): "The continuous
argument inside the Israeli government concerning the halt of
settlement activity is ridiculous and has become a vicious cycle.
None of the Israelis want to see a freeze in settlement
construction, so they propose different formulas ... We hope that
President Obama's anticipated peace plan will undermine the Israeli
plans and will meet our [Palestinian] expectations."

WALLES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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