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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (09/02): Palestinian Press Report

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5954
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
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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 7843
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4815
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4663
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6156
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4582
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UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001587

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 (09/02): Palestinian press report
on US efforts to re-start negotiations

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

All dailies front page news citing US and Israeli government
officials that President Barack Obama will announce the re-launching
of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis during the UN
General Assembly in New York this month. According to coverage, an
expected trilateral meeting will take place on the margins of the UN
meeting that will include President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas. Al-Quds reports that President Obama will propose a new plan
based on the Road Map with a larger US involvement. The local press
also report on the expected meeting between the US Special Envoy to
the Middle East George Mitchell with Israeli officials in New York
today.

Al-Ayyam runs front page news on European Union Foreign Policy Chief
Javier Solana noting to Al-Ayyam that extensive talks have started
in the US between the Palestinians and Israelis to discuss the
details of freezing settlement activity in preparation for
re-launching negotiations. Solana noted that if the two parties
reach an agreement on final status, the settlements issue will be a
small obstacle.

The local press report news citing Egyptian sources saying that the
prisoners exchange deal between Hamas and Israel has reached a very
advanced stage and that a final agreement could be reached within
the next few days. Approximately 100 Palestinian prisoners will be
deported to Yemen, Sudan and Syria after their release, according to
coverage.

Al-Quds runs front page news citing senior Israeli Defense Force
colonels stating that they received orders to cancel a number of
activities and incursions in the West Bank. They noted that they did
not want to be observed doing anything controversial by US Consulate
officials who monitor Israeli settlement activity and home
demolitions, as well as attacks against US funded projects in the
area. -------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------

1) Al-Quds independent daily runs an editorial under the title "The
bilateral and trilateral meetings are not the solution" (09/02):
"There is no point in calling for summits and meetings to discuss
s
the mechanisms of achieving peace while the Israeli mentality is
still dominated by the hunger to construct and expand settlements.
In order for the summits and meetings to have value, Israel has to
respect the rights of the Palestinian people and stop all settlement
activity first."

2) Hani Habib opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under the
headline "Netanyahu... settlements transformation" (09/02):"There is
a big difference between Netanyahu when he was the Prime Minister in
1997 and now. He is now chairing an extremist and radical government
which will make any progress in achieving peace almost impossible.
This raises doubts in the minds of the Palestinians and the
international community about the feasibility of US involvement in
forcing the Israelis to halt all settlement activity."

MARCHESE

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