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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (10/13): Palestinians Exert Every

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6272
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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7889
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4861
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4711
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6202
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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

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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS

SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (10/13): Palestinians exert every
effort for a vote on the Goldstone report at the UN Security Council

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Main Stories:
-------------
All three dailies report on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu's remarks at the opening session of the Knesset yesterday.
Netanyahu renewed his call for the Palestinians to recognize Israel
as a Jewish state for the Jewish people. He also heavily criticized
the Goldstone report and said that it encourages terrorism and
doesn't promote peace in the region. Netanyahu reiterated that he
will not allow any Israeli soldier or political leader to be accused
of or punished for war crimes. He noted that the report denies the
right of Israel to defend itself and stressed that he will exert
every effort to ensure that the vote on the report at the UN
Security Council on Wednesday fails.

In reaction to Netanyahu's remarks, Palestinian Authority (PA)
Presidency spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina noted to the press that
Netanyahu is only wasting time and evading responsibility. He also
noted that Netanyahu doesn't recognize the rights of the Palestinian
people to establish an independent state with Jerusalem its
capital.

The dailies also report on the PA's efforts to ensure a vote on the
Goldstone report during the UN Security Council session on
Wednesday. PA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki will travel to New
York today to attend the UNSC session and will give a speech to
condemn the Israeli attacks against Al-Aqsa and East Jerusalem. He
will also discuss the Goldstone report.

News on Palestinian national reconciliation efforts continues to
receive prominent coverage in the local press. The reports note that
Fatah approved the modified Egyptian proposal for national
reconciliation. The reports also note that Egypt gave Hamas 48 hours
to submit their final response on the proposal.

The dailies report on the PA weekly ministerial cabinet meeting
yesterday in Ramallah. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad urged the
international community to force Israel to stop its attacks against
Jerusalem. The cabinet noted that despite the importance of Special
Envoy George Mitchell's recent visit to the region, he wasn't able
to achieve any tangible progress towards the resumption of
negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis because of
Israeli stubbornness and rejection to halt settlement activities.

The local press reports on the Israeli authorities demolishing four
houses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit-Hanina yesterday
due to the lack of appropriate building permits under full
protection of the Israeli police.

Monday, October 12:

The dailies reported on PA President Mahmoud Abbas' speech in which
he explained the details surrounding the PA's decision to postpone
the vote on the Goldstone report at the UN Human Rights Council.
Abbas also accused Hamas of taking advantage of the repercussions of
the postponement to evade signing the national reconciliation
agreement.

The dailies also report on the Head of the Hamas political bureau
Khaled Mish'al's speech on Sunday. Mish'al criticized the PA for
postponing the Goldstone report and noted that the Palestinian
Liberation Organizatoin should be restructured. He also accused the

JERUSALEM 00001803 002 OF 003


Obama administration of being biased to Israel.

The dailies report on member of the Fatah Central Committee,
Muhammad Dahlan, noting that Fatah is extremely disappointed and
concerned about the reversal of the US position regarding the peace
process. He added that Fatah is also concerned about the US silence
towards the Israeli measures in East Jerusalem and its attacks
against Al-Aqsa Mosque. He called on President Obama to immediately
intervene and rescue the peace process by imposing a complete freeze
of settlement activities.

The dailies report on Special Envoy George Mitchell concluding his
trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority without achieving any
tangible movement toward the resumption of negotiations between the
Palestinians and Israelis.

Weekend Stories:

Sunday, October 11,

All three dailies carry front page news on Hamas confirming that its
delegation in Cairo has finished its discussions with Egyptian
officials regarding the national reconciliation agreement. Hamas
spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said that "Hamas expressed its desire to
postpone the signing of the agreement," noting that Cairo understood
the reasons behind the postponement, primarily because the
atmosphere is not appropriate for signing the agreement. Barhoum
added that "it is very difficult for Hamas to ignore the public
reaction to the postponement of the vote on the Goldstone report."
Salah Al Bardawil, a leading figure of Hamas, said that Egypt agreed
to postpone the signing until after Eid Al Adha.

The three dailies report that the UN Human Rights Council is
expected to convene an emergency session to discuss the Goldstone
report within the next two weeks. Palestinian Ambassador Ibrahim
Khreisheh is conducting meetings with the various parties within the
Council to convene this emergency session upon the request of
President Abbas. Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat announced
that the PA will re-submit the report to the UN Human Rights Council
for a re-vote. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its
readiness to launch an international diplomatic campaign against the
vote, according to coverage.

The local press highlight Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's meeting with
Special Envoy George Mitchell. Dr. Ghassan Al Khatib, Director of
the Government Media Center, said that Fayyad reiterated the
Palestinian position calling on Israel to freeze all settlement
activities to create a positive atmosphere for the resumption of
negotiations. Al Khatib added that Senator Mitchell is seeking the
resumption of negotiations as soon as possible.

Saturday, October 10:

The three dailies lead with stories about Friday's protests and
condemnations of the Israeli restrictions imposed on Jerusalem and
Al Aqsa Mosque. A general strike was observed in all West Bank
governorates. Jerusalem mosques were overcrowded with young
worshippers, hundreds of whom were forced to pray in the streets
after being banned from entering Al Aqsa Mosque. Despite the
deployment of thousands of police in the vicinity of Al Aqsa Mosque,
some clashes erupted between young Palestinians and these forces.
Israel relaxed the restrictions on Friday afternoon and opened all
of the gates leading to Al Aqsa Mosque, thus allowing worshippers to

JERUSALEM 00001803 003 OF 003


enter.

The local press highlights Special Envoy George Mitchell's
announcement that he invited Palestinian and Israeli officials to
continue consultations with him in Washington. Mitchell said in a
statement to journalists following his meeting with President Abbas,
"I have had a very good meeting with President Abbas during which we
discussed our shared vision of establishing an independent, viable,
and geographically congruent Palestinian state." Mitchell also added
that "President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton are personally
and deeply interested in achieving this objective" saying that the
"only and most practical solution for this conflict is to fulfil the
dreams of both parties and for the parties to live side by side in
peace, security, stability, and prosperity." President Abbas told
Mitchell that talk about resuming peace negotiations cannot take
place prior to the complete freeze of settlement activities,
particularly in Jerusalem, and prior to defining clear terms of
reference for these negotiations.
-------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------

1) Fadwa Al-Barghouti opines in Al-Quds independent daily under the
title "Obama's first failure in the New York Summit" (10/13):
"Obama's remarks after the trilateral meeting in New York and
Mitchell's most recent remarks show that the US president failed his
first test and has wasted the first 8 months of his administration
in useless negotiations with the Israeli government. He also
reversed some of his positions ... obviously there are limits to US
pressure on Israel."


2) Abdallah Al-Itibi opines in Al-Quds independent daily under the
title "Obama and Palestine: impressive statements and bitter
decisions" (10/13): "Obama has to know that US leadership and its
influence on the entire world should not be based on election
slogans, but rather on presidential decisions ... If he wants to be
an exceptional president, he should not only be satisfied with
speeches and words, but has to follow this with actions."

RUBINSTEIN

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