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Cablegate: Revised Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/3): Palestinians

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OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1975 3071230
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 031230Z NOV 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6521
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC//DAS-ZD/DACS-ZK//
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7931
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4898
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4748
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6236
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4667
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3259

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001975

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: REVISED JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (11/3): Palestinians
skeptical of the US position on settlements

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Main Stories:
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The dailies lead with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stating
that the US position regarding settlement activity has not changed.
Reports highlight that Secretary Clinton and Special Envoy George
Mitchell reversed tone after widespread anger erupted throughout the
Arab world after earlier statements praising Israeli actions on
settlement activity. Al-Quds leads with a headline saying "After
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas did not waiver
from the PA's position regarding settlements, Clinton and Mitchell
reversed the language and reiterated the need for the complete
cessation of settlement activity." Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's lead
headline quotes Clinton as saying "President Abbas has made positive
initiatives and Israel has to take on similar steps." Clinton is
quoted in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida noting that the Israeli proposal to
control settlement activity was below expectations.

The coverage also highlights the meeting between President Abbas and
Special Envoy Mitchell in Amman yesterday. Al Quds and Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida report on Saeb Erekat's statement to the press after the
Abbas-Mitchell meeting, quoting Mitchell as saying, "The position of
the administration has not changed. Settlements are illegitimate and
expropriating [land in] East Jerusalem is also illegitimate." The
coverage also notes that Abbas agreed with Mitchell to continue the
talks and showed a readiness to implement Palestinian obligations if
Israel does the same.

Al-Quds quotes Arab League Secretary General Amer Mousa noting that
if the US fails to revive the peace talks, it would be their own
fault because of the extra protection it grants to Israel.

The dailies highlight news on the Jerusalem municipality demolishing
three homes that belong to Palestinian families in East Jerusalem,
leaving 41 people homeless. The coverage notes that the demolition
was done under Israeli police protection. Al Quds and Al-Ayyam ran
front page photos of demonstrations against the home demolitions in
front of the Consulate's Post II consular facility in East
Jerusalem.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1) Rasem Ebidat opines in Al Quds independent daily under the title
"Finally, the American Intentions Are Revealed" (11/03): "When
President Obama took office, all Arabs were optimistic and very
supportive of his policies ... We all thought his era would witness
the beginning of strong Arab-American relations. However, Secretary
Clinton's remarks revealed the true face of the American position
and how much it resembles the Israeli position."

2) Hani Al-Masri opines in Al-Ayyam independent daily under the
title "After the US Retreat From Its Promises, What To Do?" (11/3):
"Secretary Clinton's remarks reveal that Obama's administration is
incapable of fulfilling its earlier promises ... Instead of exerting
pressure on Israel, it shifted to placing pressure on the
Palestinians ... The US has to realize that Israel is becoming a
burden that obstructs peace and security in the whole region. Only
then can a Palestinian state be achieved."


RUBINSTEIN

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