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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (09/03): Palestinians Continue To

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DE RUEHJM #1596/01 2461451
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 031451Z SEP 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5965
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 7844
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4816
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4664
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6157
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4583
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3162

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001596

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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 (09/03): Palestinians continue to
state settlement freeze is essential for moving the peace process
forward

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

All dailies report on President Barack Obama's Iftar in the White
House on September 1. The local press highlights Obama's remarks
about his respect for Islam and the Muslim world. The dailies quote
President Obama saying that Islam is a religion that is committed to
"justice and progress" and stressed that US relations with the
Muslim world have to be based on "mutual interest and mutual
respect."

The dailies front page news on the anticipated trilateral meeting
between President Obama, Palestinian Authority (PA) President
Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New
York on the margins of the UN General Assembly meetings later this
month. Al-Ayyam reports on President Abbas reiterating to the press
during his meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister Jos Luis
Zapatero in Madrid on September 2 that freezing settlement activity
is a crucial obligation for Israel to fulfill prior to holding the
meeting.

Al-Quds leads with news citing DPA on Hamas leaders stressing that
German mediation efforts for a prisoners exchange deal between Hamas
and Israel are serious and constructive. Senior Hamas official Mousa
Abu Marzouq is quoted as saying that the negotiations about the deal
are moving forward. Abu Marzouq also said that he is not optimistic
about the outcome of national dialogue talks scheduled for next week
between Hamas and Fatah to end the internal Palestinian division,
according to coverage.

Al-Quds front pages news on Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh announcing
that Hamas will not accept President Abbas' decision to hold
presidential and legislative elections in the West Bank, noting that
the elections have to be based on internal consensus and not imposed
from an external party.

The local press highlights the meeting that took place in Jerusalem
on September 2 between the PA Minister of Economy Bassem Khoury and
the Israeli Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom, the first
cabinet-level meeting since Prime Minister Netanyahu took office.
Palestinian Authority Presidency Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina
noted that the meeting focused on economic issues and had nothing to
do with the political negotiations. -------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------

1) Randa Taqi Al-Deen opines in Al-Quds independent daily under the
title "The Israeli obstacles facing the international peace
conference" (09/03): "Hosting an international peace conference to
achieve peace in the region before the end of the year will be a
very difficult task. The Israeli actions on the ground, including
its refusal to freeze settlement activity ... will derail all
international and regional efforts."

2) Abdallah Awwad opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under the
headline "Development towards transition" (09/03):"Although the
international community supports an independent Palestinian state,
the question remains whether this pressure will force Israel to halt
all settlement activity or will it be overtaken by new agreements?"

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