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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (12/08): Hopes Run High for Eu

VZCZCXRO0335
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2208/01 3420959
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O 080959Z DEC 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6894
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF 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 7982
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4949
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4799
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6287
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4718
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3322

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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 (12/08): Hopes Run High for EU
Recognition of Palestinian Capital

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Main Stories:
-------------
----------------------------
East Jerusalem: EU Proposal
----------------------------

Dailies report that the EU Foreign Ministers will continue their
meetings today in Brussels discussing the Swedish proposal to
recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.
The dailies and independent news outlet Ma'an report that the
Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet urged the EU to adopt what it
termed "clear positions in accordance with international law."

PA official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida headlines a quote by Jean
Asselborn, Luxembourg's Foreign Minister that East Jerusalem "is
occupied and does not belong to Israel." Italy's Foreign Minister
Franco Frattini is quoted in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida saying the EU should
not decide the fate of Jerusalem without proper negotiations.
Al-Ayyam front-paged a report quoting Congresswoman Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, senior Republican on the House Foreign
Affairs Committee, urging EU Foreign Ministers to reject the
proposition calling for East Jerusalem as the future capital of a
Palestinian state.


-----------------------
Abbas' Visit to Lebanon
-----------------------

PA President Abbas' visit to Lebanon and meetings with Lebanese
President and senior officials is prominently featured in local
media. According to the coverage, Abbas stressed that there is no
alternative to the peace process, and reiterated his opposition to
resettling Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. He pointed out that
Palestinian presidential and legislative elections can be held in
June 2010 only if Hamas signs the national reconciliation paper
prepared by Egypt.


--------------------------
Palestinian Reconciliation
--------------------------

Dailies and Ma'an report that Egypt intends to propose a new
suggestion to the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation plan, focusing on
disputed points. According to the reports, Egypt will give both
sides the opportunity to accept or refuse the plan as a whole, but
will not allow amendments. A delegation from the Palestinian
Reconciliation Committee, committed to trying to find a solution to
the impasse and reach conciliation, arrived in Cairo on Sunday and
held its first meeting yesterday.


-------------
Prisoner Swap
-------------

Local press continues to report contradictory statements made by
Hamas officials in Gaza and Syria concerning the prisoner exchange

JERUSALEM 00002208 002 OF 003


deal. Al-Quds reports that a Hamas official in Damascus stated that
the general framework for the swap is ready and that the "ball is
now in the Israeli court." According to the official, Hamas allowed
a French medical delegation to visit Shalit, which contradicts
claims by Mahmoud Zahhar, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza that the
French delegation was not allowed to visit. Al-Ayyam quotes Abbas
saying that the PA will never accept the deporting of any
Palestinian. (Comment: We believe this is the first time Abbas has
publically taken a position on this issue.)


-----------------
Settlement Freeze
-----------------

Al-Quds reports on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's meeting with
Likud party members yesterday, in which he stressed that the
settlement moratorium is temporary and serves broader Israeli
national security interests. Al-Quds reports that Kadima party
leader Tzipi Livni has said that it is unfair to compare large
settlement units with random smaller outposts. According to
reports, Livni said that the international community and settlers
must realize that Israel's national interests come first. In
related news, settlers continue to protest against the GOI
moratorium decision. Settlers are planning a large demonstration
tomorrow afternoon in West Jerusalem to protest the settlement
freeze. Between 10,000 and 15,000 protesters are expected to
participate in the demonstration, which will pass in front of the
Consulate's Lazarist compound.


-------------------
H1N1 Deaths in Gaza
-------------------

Al Ayaam reports a third death from H1N1 in Gaza. According to the
article, the PA accuses Hamas of barring Palestinian patients from
leaving the territory for medical treatment. According to Ma'an,
the Health Ministry in the de facto government in Gaza denied the
claims, saying that they allow ambulances to leave Gaza through Erez
Crossing to transport patients to hospitals in Jerusalem and
Israel.

-------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------
1) Al-Quds runs an editorial under the title "Was The European
Message Delivered?" in which the writer asserts that no matter what
decision is reached in today's meeting of EU Foreign Ministers,
Israel got the message that Europe rejects all Israeli measures and
policies in East Jerusalem.

2) Hani Al-Masri, writing in Al-Ayyam under the title "Stopping the
Negotiations With No Alternative is Worse Than Pursuing Them,"
opines that Abbas' announcement not to run for election is not a
solution. According to Al Masri, there must be an initiative to
forge a new path to help Palestinians achieve their national goals.
Al-Masri believes that Palestinians should not wait to see what the
e
US and Israel will propose because "we [Palestinians] know by now
what they will propose."

JERUSALEM 00002208 003 OF 003


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