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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (08/27): Press Speculates On

VZCZCXRO2285
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1527/01 2391018
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271018Z AUG 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5874
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 7835
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4807
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4655
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6148
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4574
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3153

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001527

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 (08/27): Press speculates on
outcome of London meeting

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

The local press lead with news on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu's meeting with US Special Envoy George Mitchell in London
on August 26. All reports note that the meeting did not result in a
breakthrough on the settlements issue. In its lead headline,
Al-Ayyam reports "Failure of Netanyahu-Mitchell meeting" and
continues "Israel rejects any freeze to settlement construction."
Reports note the joint statement issued after the meeting saying
that it is important for Israel to pursue serious talks with the
Palestinians and to work towards achieving a comprehensive peace.

Al-Ayyam and Al-Quds run front page stories citing the Guardian that
the US is very close to reaching an agreement with Israel to restart
negotiations with the Palestinians. The reports note that President
Barack Obama received a commitment from the Israeli government for a
partial freeze of settlement construction in return for the US
taking tougher measures against Iran, including additional
sanctions.

All dailies report on Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud
Abbas chairing the extraordinary session of the Palestinian National
Council in Ramallah on August 26 to appoint 6 new members to the
Fatah Central Committee [Note. The session lasted until 4am and so
the papers did not report on the eventual appointees. End Note]. In
his speech, Abbas reiterated that Israel must halt all settlement
activity in order to resume the peace process and stressed that all
parties must fulfill their Roadmap obligations. Abbas also stated
that presidential and legislative elections are the only means
forward if the Palestinian national dialogue fails.

The local press highlights the Elders' group meeting with PA Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah on August 26. Fayyad briefed the
delegation on recent developments in the Palestinian territories and
presented his government's plan for ending the occupation and
building an independent Palestinian state. Fayyad is quoted saying
"it is time for the Palestinians to enjoy freedom and to end the
occupation." Former US President Jimmy Carter noted that the Elders'
group is concerned with the severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza and
called for an end to the closure. He also urged Israel to stop home
demolitions and land confiscation in East Jerusalem.

News on a potential deal to release kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad
Shalit dominates front page coverage in all dailies. The reports
note that a Hamas delegation in Cairo is negotiating with the
Egyptians and Germans on a possible prisoner exchange deal.
-------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------

1)Al-Quds independent daily runs an editorial under the title
"Activating the Palestinian official institutions" (08/27): "The
Palestinians have recently sensed a great improvement in their
institutions due to the rule of law and order, the launching of many
development projects, and the creation of new jobs under the
leadership of Salam Fayyad. His agenda proves that he is committed
to establishing an independent Palestinian state regardless of the
obstacles."


JERUSALEM 00001527 002 OF 002


2) Abdel Majeed Sweilem opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under
the headline "Fatah and the current national crisis"
(08/27):"Reforming the Palestinian Liberation Organization is not an
option and is not a demand, it is a real need for Fatah so that it
can respond to internal and external threats and put an end to
internal Palestinian division."

WALLES

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