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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/2): Palestinians Disappointed

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6511
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JERUSALEM 001969

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 (11/2): Palestinians disappointed
in Secretary Clinton's statements

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Main Stories:
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The three dailies run prominent coverage on the Palestinian
Authority's (PA) reaction to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's
recent statements regarding the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian
negotiations before Israel agrees to a complete freeze of settlement
activities. Al-Quds runs a headline that quotes PA Presidency
spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina saying, "America has retreated from
its earlier promises and could not fulfill its commitments."
Al-Ayyam's leading headline says "Palestinian disappointment from
Clinton's statements," while an Al-Hayat Al-Jadida headline reads
"Disappointment in Palestine and relief in Israeli regarding the US
retreat."

All dailies also carry front page reports on an armed Jewish settler
trying to get into Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday at dawn. The guards of
the mosque caught him and prevented him from entering the mosque.

Al-Quds front pages news on PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
reiterating during the opening of the Expo-tech exhibition in
Ramallah yesterday that the Palestinian government is committed to
building an independent state and developing its institutions
despite the Israeli occupation. Fayyad said this has become the
daily slogan for the Palestinian people.

Al-Quds Hamas radio reports on the Deputy Chairman of the
Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza Ahamd Bahar noting that
Hamas has nothing to fear by holding presidential and legislative
elections, but noted that due to the security situation in the West
Bank, Hamas will not be able to participate in the elections.

----------------
Weekend stories:
----------------

Sunday, November 1

The three dailies lead with stories on PA President Mahmoud Abbas's
rejection of Secretary Clinton's offer to resume final status
negotiations in exchange for Israel halting settlement activities
except for the construction of 3,000 settlement units in the West
Bank. The deal also totally excluded Jerusalem. Speaking at a press
conference after the meeting, President Abbas said "We stressed our
position that peace has requirements, and the most important one is
the full cessation of settlement activities." Responding to a
question about Jerusalem, President Abbas said "it was the main
issue of discussion with Secretary Clinton," stressing that
"Jerusalem is in danger and the Arabs and Muslims should pay good
attention to that." President Abbas added that "peace starts in
Jerusalem," and that without Jerusalem, "I don't think there will be
peace with Israel."

Al Quds and Al Ayyam run front page stories on Secretary Clinton
calling on Israelis and Palestinians to resume negotiations "as soon
as possible" without any pre-conditions. According to the reports,
Secretary Clinton rejected the Palestinian condition for resuming
negotiations with Israel only after the latter agreed to a complete
settlement freeze, saying that the issue should be discussed during
negotiations.

The three dailies run front page stories on Prime Minister Fayyad
condemning an armed attack by a number of settlers in Beit Safafa,

JERUSALEM 00001969 002 OF 003


which led to the injury of five Palestinians. Fayyad stressed that
"this terrorist attack by settlers against the lives and properties
of defenceless Palestinians shows the need to provide immediate
international protection for our people in Jerusalem and its
surrounding areas, as well as in the rest of the occupied
Palestinian territories, until the establishment of our independent
Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, when the state will
be able to fully protect the security of its citizens."

Al Ayyam runs a front page story reporting that the US Congress will
vote on a bill that calls upon President Obama and Secretary Clinton
to reject any discussion of or support for the Goldstone report. The
sponsors of the bill, which is expected to have the support of
Democrats and Republicans, stated that the report is "completely
biased." The text of the bill also reiterates US support for Israel.


Saturday, October 31

All three dailies run front page coverage of President Abbas's
Friday meeting in Abu Dhabi with the Special Envoy George Mitchell.
Presidency spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh told Al Ayyam following
the meeting, "Despite the continued American efforts ... there is no
progress whatsoever regarding the cessation of all settlement
activities by Israel."

Attacks by Israeli right-wing extremists and settlers at private
homes in Beit Safafa also receive front page coverage in all the
dailies. The settlers arrived at the homes as family members were
getting ready to go to Friday prayers and started attacking them
with metal tools and weapons. A spokesperson for the Israeli police
said, "Six Israeli right-wing activists arrived at the Salah
family's houses and showed documents claiming their ownership over
the houses, demanding the residents evacuate their homes. This led
to clashes between the settlers and the local residents." Israeli
police forces arrested the Israeli attackers, according to the
reports.

The three dailies also run front page coverage on scores of citizens
and solidarity activists sustaining injuries as a result of tear gas
fired by Israeli soldiers against participants in the weekly
anti-wall protests at Ni'ilin and Bil'in. A child was also injured
in the Al Ma'sara weekly anti-Wall protests. Palestinian protesters
were joined by dozens of international solidarity and peace
activists from Sweden, Spain, and Norway.

Al Quds runs a front page story about Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat's
plan to build a large forum for hosting events in East Jerusalem.
According to the plan, the area would include a large "national
park" that will accommodate 30,000-50,000 people. The report noted
that this initiative is a part of Barkat's policy to strengthen
culture in Jerusalem.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
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Al-Quds independent daily runs an editorial under the title "The
Peace Process Reached a Dead End" (11/02): "The US proposal to
resume negotiations without the cessation of settlement activities
is very disappointing. It dealt a hard blow to peace efforts and
shows the US bias to the illegal Israeli occupation. It also
contradicts the earlier goals that President Obama announced
regarding the peace process".

JERUSALEM 00001969 003 OF 003

RUBINSTEIN

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