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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/19): Continued Settlement

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DE RUEHJM #2078/01 3230547
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 190547Z NOV 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6701
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7953
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4920
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4770
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6258
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4689
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3281

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 002078

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 (11/19): Continued settlement
activity and home demolitions dominate the Palestinian press

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Main Stories:
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The three dailies prominently report on President Obama's statement
in reaction to the Israeli government's approval of constructing 900
housing units in Gilo. The headlines quote President Obama as saying
that "this action embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end
up being very dangerous." Al-Hayat Al-Jadida quotes the President as
saying "I think that additional settlement building does not
contribute to Israel's security, I think it makes it harder for them
to make peace with their neighbors." Al-Quds considered Obama's
statement a "strong message" that reflects the critical status of
the peace process. Maan reported that this was a rare personal
pronouncement on the subject. The dailies also report on Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad strongly condemning the Israeli decision,
saying "these Israeli measures prove that our position of resorting
to the UN to seek international recognition of a Palestinian state
was correct."

The lead photos in all dailies are of Israeli bulldozers demolishing
a Palestinian house, two stores and a women's center in the
Essawiyeh neighborhood in East Jerusalem yesterday. Al-Quds quotes
Fatah official for Jerusalem Affairs Hatem Abdel Qader noting that
there is an unprecedented Israeli wave of demolishing homes in East
Jerusalem and noted that since the beginning of 2009, the Israeli
authorities have issued more than 2300 demolition orders against
Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem.

Under its lead headline, Al-Ayyam reports "Israel challenges the
whole world by laying the corner stone of a new settlement in Jabal
Al-Mukabber neighborhood in East Jerusalem yesterday." The coverage
notes that American Jews who came to Israel to buy houses in East
Jerusalem and the West Bank participated in the ceremony. The
coverage also notes that Israel refused to authorize a Palestinian
request to construct 200 housing units in East Jerusalem.

Al-Quds reports on the Israeli authorities obstructing a high court
decision to evacuate settlers from a building in the Silwan area of
East Jerusalem yesterday.

News on the prisoners exchange deal between Israel and Hamas
receives front page coverage in the dailies. The reports quote
several sources saying that the deal might be implemented on the
first day of the Al-Adha feast. The news wasn't confirmed by Hamas
or Israeli officials.

The dailies report on the Al-Aqsa Foundation for religious and
cultural heritage noting that Israel started construction for two
tunnels and two elevators that will facilitate the access of more
tourists and settlers to the mosque.
-------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------

Al-Quds runs an editorial under the title "Continued Settlements and
Repeated International Hypocrisy" (11/19): "The international
community is condemning Israel for continued settlement activities,
but at the same time does not support the Palestinians obtaining
international recognition of their state. This international
hypocrisy will continue as long as the power is with Israel and the
Palestinians are helpless."

JERUSALEM 00002078 002 OF 002


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