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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (01/28): Palestinian Press Report

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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS

SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (01/28): Palestinian press report
on Congressional efforts to help Palestinians living in Gaza

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Main Stories:
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Independent daily Al-Quds reports that 54 Congressmen asked
President Obama to pressure Israel to ease the siege imposed on Gaza
and allow construction materials into the territory. Al-Quds also
reports that 33 Congressmen sent a letter to Secretary Clinton
asking her to discuss the Israeli rules that prohibit students
living in Gaza from studying at West Bank universities. According to
coverage, the State Department responded by reiterating the
universal right to an education and said it will respond to the
letter in the appropriate way.

Independent daily Al-Ayyam leads with news on yesterday's meeting in
Paris with European Foreign Ministers, Palestinian Authority (PA)
Prime Minster Salam Fayyad and Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul
Gheit, during which they all pledged to support Prime Minister
Fayyad's plan to build the institutions of an independent
Palestinian state.

Al-Quds reports that Israel will pump 200,000 liters of fuel into
Gaza at Prime Minister Fayyad's request. However, Maan News Agency
reports that the Hamas Power Authority and the natural resources
department in Gaza denied media reports that this was because of PA
intervention.

The dailies report that Special Envoy George Mitchell will be back
in the region soon to pursue talks with the Israelis and
Palestinians regarding the resumption of negotiations. The coverage
notes that Palestinian officials said any US proposal to hold
meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators has to be
discussed with Arab leaders first.

The dailies report on Hamas' Mahmoud Zahhar noting in a press
conference yesterday in Gaza that Hamas will sign the Egyptian plan
for national reconciliation if it gets guarantees from Egypt that
its concerns were taken into consideration. Zahhar noted that
national reconciliation is a strategic choice for Palestinians to be
able to oppose Israeli actions.

Al-Ayyam reports on Hamas leader Izzat Risheq noting to Al-Resalah
that the prisoner exchange talks between Hamas and Israel are frozen
due to Israeli opposition to releasing Hamas leaders as part of the
deal.
------------
BLOCK QUOTE:
------------
Adel Abdel Rahman writing in PA official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
under the title "Elections are a National Benefit" opines that it is
in the interest of all Palestinian factions to end the state of
division and achieve unity because Israel has been taking advantage
of the division over the past several years. Abdel Rahman urges the
factions to make it a national priority to agree on a date for
elections.
RUBINSTEIN

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