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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (12/24): Stories On "Christmas

VZCZCXRO4975
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2315/01 3580741
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240741Z DEC 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7094
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 8014
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4981
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4831
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6319
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4750
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3354

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 002315

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 (12/24): Stories on "Christmas
under occupation" run throughout the Palestinian media

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

The three dailies lead with reports that a Hamas delegate is heading
to Syria to consult with Hamas leaders there on the group's response
to the Israeli offer regarding the prisoner exchange deal. Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida front pages news reporting that the return of the German
mediator is dependent on Hamas' response. The report also notes that
the Israeli proposal to expel more than 100 prisoners might "impede"
the deal. Al-Quds reports that the "expulsion proposal" will be
presented to the prisoners to decide for themselves. Al-Ayyam
carries a report from DPA saying that unprecedented security
measures are in place at the Rafah crossing in preparation for an
exchange deal.

The three dailies run stories on the Chief Mufti and the PA
Ministers of Tourism and Awqaf condemning Israel's widespread
excavations under the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, including stealing
stones and monuments from the Ummayad palaces near the mosque.
Al-Ayyam and Al-Quds report that Israeli authorities will continue
their excavations for the third consecutive day.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and Al-Ayyam run stories on the separation
barrier's negative impact on Christmas in Bethlehem. Al-Ayyam notes
that when the wall is complete, Bethlehem will be separated from
Jerusalem for the first time in "2000 years of Christianity." In
related news, Al-Quds' lead photo highlights the visit of "Santa
Claus" to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to distribute gifts to
children evacuated from their homes by settlers.

The three dailies quote Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad saying that "the [Palestinian internal] division has been
prolonged and should be ended" during a march on the International
Day of the Disabled in Ramallah organized by the Red Crescent.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida highlights a photo of PM Fayyad signing an
agreement worth 50 million Euros with the EU.

------------
BLOCK QUOTE:
------------

Al-Ayyam runs an editorial by Talal Owkal under the title "It's
Important that Israel Bow" saying, "In all cases, Palestinians
should stick to their demands [on the prisoner exchange deal] even
if that means more endurance is needed. That's because Israel will
'bow' at the end, and it's important that it 'bows' for once in
front of the Palestinians."

--------------------
Palestine Cyberspace:
---------------------

This week, Palestinian cyberspace focused on the prisoner exchange
deal and stories, anecdotes, and photos of "Christmas under
occupation." Many Palestinian social media sites circulated a report
on Al-Jazeera English titled "Christmas 'under siege' in Bethlehem."
Watch the video at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L3hv6t7cHs


** Due to the Christmas holiday, there will not be a media reaction
tomorrow, December 25.

JERUSALEM 00002315 002 OF 002


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