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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (09/15): Palestinians React To

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 150819Z SEP 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6093
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
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RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7859
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4831
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4681
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6172
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UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001688

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 (09/15): Palestinians react to
Israeli statement to proceed with settlement activities

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Main Stories:
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statements concerning
Israel's determination to proceed with settlement activities
receives prominent coverage in the local press. The coverage notes
that Netanyahu stressed they would not freeze settlement activities
in the West Bank or Jerusalem, quoting Netanyahu saying that
Jerusalem "is not a settlement." Netanyahu added that there must be
a balance between the desire to achieve progress in the peace
process and granting the Jewish citizens who reside in the West Bank
and Jerusalem the opportunity to pursue a normal life. In reaction
to the statement, Palestinian Liberation Organization Chief
Negotiator Saeb Erekat told Al-Ayyam that further construction in
Jerusalem could ruin all efforts to achieve peace.

The papers report on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
hosting an Iftar dinner in Jericho for orphaned children on
September 14. President Abbas noted that he hoped to see an
independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital by next
Ramadan.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida front pages coverage citing Wafa News Agency and
the Israeli daily Maariv that Israeli officials are preparing to
conduct an extensive public relations attack against the UN fact
finding report which looked into Israeli actions in Gaza during
Operation Cast Lead. The coverage notes that Israeli Foreign
Ministry officials will conduct an extensive attack against the
report and the fact finding committee through the media once the
report is published.

The dailies post news on a report issued by the United Nations
Environment Program stating that Gaza will soon suffer from a water
shortage due to increased pollution from the recent war in addition
to use by an extremely high population.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1) Al-Quds independent daily runs an editorial under the title
"Jerusalem comes first... negotiations come last" (09/15): "We have
postponed the issue of Jerusalem once, and we paid the price. This
should not be repeated again regardless of pressure and
circumstances. Jerusalem should come first ... then the negotiations
on the details and timeframes ... if we are not able to do this, it
would be better not to negotiate because it will give Israel the
ability to pursue construction."

2) Hani Al-Masri opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under the
title "Will Mitchell's trip rescue the American credibility?"
(09/15):"The new US administration has given into Israel instead of
exerting pressure on it. It started with a very low ceiling in terms
of freezing settlement activity ... although this administration is
better than the Bush administration, it will not make peace, but
rather manage the conflict instead of ending it."

RUBINSTEIN

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