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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (01/26): Palestinian Press Report

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7394
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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 8067
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 5022
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4866
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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 (01/26): Palestinian press report
on a new US plan to help relaunch negotiations

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------The three dailies lead with news that Special Envoy
George Mitchell presented a US proposal to help relaunch peace talks
between the Israelis and Palestinians during his meetings with
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. According to
coverage, the US proposal calls for Israel to stop incursions into
Area A, transfer some of Area B to Area A, allow the PA and its
security forces to enter Area C, and to release Palestinian
prisoners from Israeli jails. PA official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
reports that a Palestinian official said that according to the US
proposal, Israel will be asked to transfer tax revenues to the PA on
a monthly basis and allow construction goods into Gaza. The source
said that President Abbas is currently reviewing the proposal.

Independent daily Al-Quds reports that Mitchell suggested that
Palestinian and Israeli senior officials work together in working
groups to discuss the implementation of the US proposal, which will
also involve marathon visits for Mitchell between Ramallah and
Tel-Aviv. The headlines quote President Abbas stating that he will
not return to peace talks with Israel unless the latter stops all
settlement activities, noting that the US guarantees are not
enough.

Al-Quds front pages news that since the Palestinian presidency and
PLC terms ended yesterday, many Palestinian factions and national
institutions stressed the need to end the Palestinian division and
pursue national reconciliation in order to pave the way for holding
presidential and legislative elections. In related news, independent
daily Al-Ayyam reports that President Abbas signed a presidential
decree calling for postponing the presidential and legislative
elections until a national consensus is reached.

The dailies front page news on the weekly PA cabinet meeting held
yesterday. According to coverage, the cabinet announced that January
27 will be a national day of solidarity with prisoners.
------------
BLOCK QUOTE:
------------
Nabil Amer, writing in Al-Quds under the title "People Are Asking,
What To Do?" suggests that it would be much easier for Senator
Mitchell to succeed in his efforts to convince the Palestinians and
Israelis to return to peace talks if he rented an apartment in
Ramallah and Tel-Aviv. Amer is pessimistic about any breakthrough in
peace talks, as he believes that the Palestinians are only clients
of the Americans; they are not allies and not friends. He asks, "How
long can the Palestinians count on US promises without achieving
them?"

RUBINSTEIN

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