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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/18): Palestinian Press

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O 181034Z NOV 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6689
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4919
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4769
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6257
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UNCLAS JERUSALEM 002068

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 (11/18): Palestinian press
highlights US reaction to Israel's expansion of settlements in
Jerusalem

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Main Stories:
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The three dailies highlight the Israeli government's approval of the
construction of 900 housing units in the Gilo settlement. The
coverage notes that the US expressed disappointment in this step.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that Jerusalem is
the capital of Israel and any cessation of settlements will exclude
Jerusalem. In its coverage of US reaction, Al-Ayyam reported that
"The White house expressed great regret of this decision," while
Al-Quds reported that "Washington opposes the step." Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida used the word "Musta'a" to say that the US was annoyed by
the step.

Palestinian Authority (PA) spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina condemned
this step, saying "it harms the negotiations and jeopardizes the two
state solution." He added that this step conveys a message from the
Israelis to the Americans.
In related news, the three dailies report on the Israeli authorities
demolishing two houses in the Beit Hanina and Silwan neighborhoods
of East Jerusalem due to lack of building permits.

Al-Quds runs a separate front page story on news that 50 American
Jews traveled to Israel to buy houses in East Jerusalem and the West
Bank in reaction to President Obama's continued calls on Israel to
halt settlement activity.

The dailies report on Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt saying
yesterday that "in order for the EU to recognize a Palestinian state
there must be a state first" and therefore it is too early to talk
about recognition. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida front pages news on
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chief Negotiator Saeb
Erekat reacting to Bildt's statement by saying "Now is the
appropriate time to recognize the Palestinian state."

Al-Ayyam runs front page news quoting Azzam Al-Ahmad, head of Fatah
parliamentary block in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) as
saying that the PLO Central Council will extend the term of
President Abbas until the next elections to avoid any constitutional
vacuum.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
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Wadi Nassar opines in Al-Quds under the title "The International
Community Won't Liberate Palestine" (11/18): "Despite the
encouraging statements from President Obama, it is obvious that the
US can't or is not interested in forcing Israel to respect
international law ... In order for the Palestinians to have a state,
they have to stick to Salam Fayyad's plan and end the state of
division, which is becoming an excuse for Israel and the
international community to neglect their obligations towards the
Palestinians."

RUBINSTEIN

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