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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (12/17): President Abbas: Peace

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DE RUEHJM #2284 3510555
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 170555Z DEC 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7024
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
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 8007
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4974
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4824
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6312
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4743
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3347

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 002284

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 (12/17): President Abbas: Peace
deal possible if Israel agrees to a complete settlement freeze for
six months

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Main Stories:
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The three dailies continue to lead with news on the PLO Central
Council meeting in Ramallah. Lead headlines in the three dailies
reflect the Council's majority decision to extend Palestinian
Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas' term and to continue the
role of the Palestinian Legislative Council until the next
presidential and legislative elections. The PLO Central Council also
supported Abbas' position that the Palestinians will not return to
negotiations with the Israelis until the latter imposes a complete
freeze in settlement activity.

Independent daily Al-Ayyam runs separate front page coverage citing
AFP on Hamas spokesperson in Gaza Fawzi Barhoum criticizing the PLO
Central Council decision, saying that it is illegitimate.

PA official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and Al-Quds front page
President Abbas' interview with Israeli daily Haaretz, published
yesterday. Abbas stressed that if Israel completely halts settlement
activity for six months, it will be possible for Palestinians to
reach a permanent agreement with the Israelis. Abbas reiterated that
the PA has no pre-conditions for resuming negotiations but wants
Israel to abide by its obligations and commitments under the Road
map.

The dailies front page news and run lead photos of settlers laying
the corner stone for a new settlement in Bethlehem. Settlers noted
that this act is a challenge to the construction freeze imposed by
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Al-Quds and independent news outlet Maan report that hundreds of
right-wing Israelis are expected to attend organized tours and
prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound today. The event is being
called a "mass pilgrimage" honoring the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
[Today is the Hijri New Year for Muslims and there will be
celebrations in the mosque.]

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

Abdel-Majid Swelim writing in Al-Ayyam under the title "On the
Margins of the Central Council Meeting" opines that it was not wise
for the Council to conclude its meetings without identifying a date
for the next elections, as it demonstrates that the Council still
can't take decisive decisions.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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