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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/06): Palestinians Question Why

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6214
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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS

SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (10/06): Palestinians question why
the PA agreed to postpone the vote on the Goldstone report

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Main Stories:
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News on the confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli
police at Al-Aqsa Mosque continues to receive prominent coverage in
the local press. The dailies report that the police closed the main
entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque for the second day, denying all
Palestinians, except the elderly, entrance to pray. Photos on the
front pages show the Israeli police arresting young Palestinian boys
who were at the demonstrations against the closure. In related news,
the dailies report on solidarity demonstrations taking place in most
of the Palestinian cities in protest of the Israeli actions.
Condemnations of the attack against the mosque from Arab and Muslim
countries continue. In its weekly cabinet meeting yesterday, the
Council of Ministers condemned the Israeli attacks.

Al-Quds front pages news on yesterday's interview of Palestinian
Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas with Yemeni TV during his
visit to Yemen. When asked about the Goldstone report, President
Abbas noted that the PA doesn't have the right to postpone the vote
of any report since the PA is an observer at the UN and in the Human
Rights Council. Abbas reiterated that the postponement was made
after the US, Europe, Russia and China found that the report needed
more time to be studied.

The dailies report on Palestinians' reaction to the postponement of
the vote on the Goldstone report. National and civil society
organizations demonstrated yesterday in Ramallah against the action.
In a separate coverage, Al-Quds reports that the Palestinian
Liberation Organization's (PLO) response to US pressure to postpone
the vote has created a severe internal crisis, leading to the
formation of a committee to investigate in the implications. Some
Palestinian officials, particularly Prime Minister Salam Fayyad,
opposed the demands of the US Consul General in Jerusalem asking the
PA to postpone the vote. According to coverage, Fayyad aggressively
rejected the request of the US Consul and noted after hitting the
table "you are weakening the authority of President Abbas and the
PA, the same way you did with the settlements issue." The report
notes that one official, however, responded positively to the US
request and convinced Abbas to accept it.

The dailies report on the national reconciliation efforts expected
to resume in Cairo this month. The dailies quote Egyptian Foreign
Minister Aboul Gheit noting that the Palestinian national
reconciliation agreement will be signed in Cairo on October 25. He
also noted in a press conference in Amman that the Palestinian
elections will take place sometime between March and June 2010, not
in January as was previously planned.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1) Yunis Amouri opines in Al-Quds independent daily under the title
"The official Palestinian position from Goldstone's report" (10/06):
"The official Palestinian justifications that we've heard concerning
the postponement of the vote on the Goldstone report are
unreasonable and weak. We all know about the relationship between
the US and Israel, and we don't need proof to convince us and the
whole world that Washington imposed pressure to postpone the vote.
But an admission by the Palestinian Authority that it agreed to
postpone the vote due to US pressure, this by itself is a scandal".

2) Muhannad Abdel Hamid opines in al-Ayyam under the title

"Investigating in the Goldstone's report and beginning of the
Change?" (10/06):"In his Cairo speech and media interviews,
President Obama promised to achieve a two state solution. However,
he reversed his position when he exerted pressure on the PA to
resume negotiations with Israel without the cessation of
settlements, and when he pressured the PA to agree to postpone the
vote of the Goldstone report to the International Court ... If the
US is only going to impose the Israeli solution ... how feasible is
it to abide by Obama's, Clinton's and Mitchell's advice? How
feasible it is to go back to the negotiations table?

RUBINSTEIN

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