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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (12/30): Hamas Says It Did Not

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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS

SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (12/30): Hamas says it did not
reject the prisoner exchange deal

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Main Stories:
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Lead stories in the dailies focus on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu's meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak yesterday.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit described the meeting as "very
positive" and noted that the Egyptian officials sensed a positive
tone from the Israeli Prime Minister towards the resumption of
negotiations with the Palestinians.

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The three dailies report that Hamas did not reject the prisoner
exchange deal. Hamas official in Damascus Osama Abu Khaled denied
news published on Tuesday that the Hamas political bureau rejected
the deal. He noted that Hamas is still reviewing the Israeli
response that was delivered through the German mediator.

PA official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that China and Russia
oppose the Israeli plan to construct more settlement units in
Jerusalem. The headline highlights the continued Israeli settlement
activities in Jerusalem despite international condemnation.

Al-Ayyam front pages a photo of Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad at the opening of the sixth exhibition for
local food products in Jericho. Prime Minister Fayyad reiterated the
PA's commitment to get rid of all settlement products in the
Palestinian markets and to promote Palestinian products as
alternatives in the international markets.

Citing several sources, Al-Ayyam reports that the anticipated US
peace plan that Special Envoy Mitchell will propose soon will not
bring new developments. According to analysts, the plan will focus
on the importance of direct negotiations between Palestinians and
Israelis to solve the conflict.

------------
BLOCK QUOTE:
------------
Al-Quds runs an editorial under the title "Between Netanyahu and
Lieberman...Who Expresses the Israeli Policy?" The writer believes
that both Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime
Minister Netanyahu express the real policy of Israel, just in
different ways. Lieberman is very extremist and blunt, never
expressing a desire to see a Palestinian state, while Netanyahu
tries to deceive the world and pretend he is willing and ready to
resume peace talks with the Palestinians, when he really feels the
same as Lieberman.


RUBINSTEIN

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