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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (12/09): Ambiguous Eu Statement:

VZCZCXRO1338
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2231/01 3431033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091033Z DEC 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6926
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 7985
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4952
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4802
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6290
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4721
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3325

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 002231

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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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS

SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (12/09): Ambiguous EU Statement:
Less Than Expected But a Step in the Right Direction

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------

-------------------------------
EU Statement on East Jerusalem
-------------------------------

The decision of the EU Foreign Ministers the main story in all
dailies. Headlines reflect the decision that Jerusalem should be
the future capital of both Israel and the future Palestinian state
and articles discuss the reactions of, the Palestinian Authority
(PA), the Government of Israel and the United States. Although the
dailies did not include Hamas' reaction, the Palestinian Information
Center website reported that Dr Sami Abu-Zuhri, Hamas Spokesman,
stated that the EU decision does not meet the aspirations of the
Palestinian people.

Palestinian Reaction: PA Prime Minister Fayyad welcomed the EU
statement and noted that it is a victory for international law. In
his opinion, the statement proves that Israel is not the only
player.

Ahmad Qurei, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)
Executive Committee, said that the decision was a step in the right
direction.

PA Presidency Secretary General Tayyeb Abdel Rahim criticized France
for amending the original Swedish proposal.

Israeli Reaction: Dailies report that the Israeli Foreign
Ministry's statement acknowledged that the final EU statement was
better than the proposed draft, but complained that the statement
failed to take into account that the Palestinian refusal to return
to the negotiating table is the primary obstacle to renewed
negotiations.

Independent daily Al-Ayyam reports on a statement by Mayor Nir
Barkat completely rejecting the EU decision. According to the
article, the Mayor characterized the division of Jerusalem as "a
real danger to the future of Jerusalem...one, which will never work"
and that the recent 20th anniversary of the reunification of Berlin
is a reminder that no divided city in the history of the world has
functioned properly.

US Reaction: PA Official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and independent
daily Al-Ayyam front page Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs
Philip Crowley's statement that "Our position on Jerusalem is clear.
We believe that, as a final status issue, this is best addressed in
direct negotiations between both parties."


------------------------------------------
US Consul General Meets Bethlehem Governor
------------------------------------------

Dailies and independent news outlet Ma'an report that U.S. Consul
General (CG) Daniel Rubinstein met with the Governor of Bethlehem
Abdul-Fattah Hamayil and security commanders yesterday. According
to the coverage, the CG affirmed the U.S. commitment to the

JERUSALEM 00002231 002 OF 002


principles set forth in President Obama's speech in Cairo in June
and reiterated that the U.S. position regarding settlements has not
changed.


------------------------------------------
President Abbas Press Statement in Beirut
------------------------------------------

In a press conference in Beirut yesterday, President Abbas said that
he will not agree to hold presidential elections in the West Bank if
Hamas continues to refuse to hold elections in Gaza. Abbas noted
that the PLO Central Council will convene December 15 to discuss
election arrangements and the repercussions of his decision not to
run in next elections. He also reiterated that the PA wants to
achieve national reconciliation with Hamas.


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

Dailies report that Khaled Misha'l, head of Hamas' political bureau,
accused Israel of obstructing the deal. Independent daily Al-Quds
front pages an exclusive interview with Marwan Barghouti, who
believes that the prisoner swap is in its last stage and that it
will help achieve national reconciliation.

-------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------

1) Al-Quds runs an editorial entitled "EU Decision Regarding
Jerusalem is Less than Expected but Reflects a Positive Change," in
which the writer comments that although the decision is less than
what was expected, it should be seen as a step in the right
direction; as step which "threatens" Israel. The writer urges the
Arabs states and Palestinians to work together to make the decision
a reality and to follow up with the international community to end
Israeli violations [evictions, home demolitions, etc.] against
Palestinian citizens in Jerusalem.

2) Hani Habib writing in Al-Ayyam under the title "The EU and
Ambiguous Language," notes that the final statement reflected a
retreat from the EU initial's position concerning Jerusalem and
illustrated the extent to which Israel succeeded in influencing the
EU, resulting in an ambiguous statement.


RUBINSTEIN

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