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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/01): Israeli Plan for a New

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6183
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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4848
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4698
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6189
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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
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LONDON FOR HKANONA AND POL - TSOU
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS

SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (10/01): Israeli plan for a new
settlement near Jericho raises further doubts about a peace
agreement

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Main Stories:
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News on the Israeli government's plan to build 14,000 settlement
units to accommodate 40,000 settlers in Al-Walajeh village near
Jericho receives lead coverage in the local press. Citing the
Israeli daily Ma'ariv, this new settlement will be built on 3,000
dunums of land confiscated from the Palestinians and will be
presented to the Ministry of Interior for endorsement in the coming
weeks. The reports note that this step is an obvious challenge to
the US. In related news, the dailies report that the Israeli
government issued tenders for the construction of 25 housing units
in the settlement of Brakha, south of Nablus.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida front pages news on the Palestinian Liberation
Organization (PLO) Executive Committee meeting in Ramallah on
September 30. The meeting condemned Israel's plan for a new
settlement in Walajeh. In a statement issued by the committee,
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas noted that
Israel's endorsement of this new settlement will lead to the failure
of all efforts to revive the peace process. Abbas asked the US to
try to stop Israel from establishing this new settlement, according
to coverage.

The local press prominently reports on the agreement reached between
Hamas and the Israeli government to release 20 female Palestinian
prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for a one minute video
proving kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is still alive.
Reports note the deal was brokered through Egyptian mediation. The
PA welcomed the deal.

Al-Quds reports on the Palestinian faction Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) calling for a change to the Egyptian
plan for national reconciliation. The DFLP stated that in order to
end the state of division, there must be a unified election system
that applies to the PLO and its national council, as well as the
Palestinian Legislative Council in the West Bank and Gaza.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that in response to the request by French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
approved the reconstruction of Al-Quds hospital in Gaza by the
French and Qatari governments. The hospital was damaged during the
January 2009 conflict in Gaza.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1) Al-Quds independent daily runs an editorial under the title "The
beginning of a shift in the world's public opinion (10/01): "In
Britain we saw members of the Parliament demonstrating against the
visit of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak to London ... the same
in Paris where we saw groups of French people carrying the
Palestinian flag in support of the Goldstone report ... These
actions may not change Israeli policies, but still these actions
have weight and will help change public opinion, which can
ultimately change the policies."

2) Talal Okal opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under the title
"The climate may change but things on the ground will remain the
same" (10/01):"What we see from Hamas in terms of its positive
attitudes towards the Egyptian proposal should make us feel better,
but until now this hasn't changed public opinion ... the

JERUSALEM 00001751 002 OF 002


Palestinians are not optimistic that the division will end, even
with the Egyptian plan. We expect that the plan will be
controversial and will not be easy to implement on the ground."

RUBINSTEIN

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