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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (02/05): Fatah and Hamas Leaders

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RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4875
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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
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LONDON FOR HKANONA AND POL - TSOU
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS

SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (02/05): Fatah and Hamas leaders
continue to take steps towards reconciliation

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------The three dailies run lead photos of Fatah Central
Committee member Nabil Shaath shaking hands with Hamas' Ismail
Hannieyh at his house in Gaza yesterday. Reports note that the
meeting was positive. The leading headlines state that Fatah and
Hamas will take practical steps to end the state of division.
Al-Quds' headline also says that 1000 Fatah members and independent
figures will visit Gaza soon.

The dailies report that settlers in southern Nablus occupied 500
dunums of land on a hill near Jaloud village and built four mobile
homes on it. The dailies also report that the Jerusalem municipality
will demolish 200 Palestinian homes in the Silwan neighborhood in
East Jerusalem due to the lack of building permits.

Independent daily Al-Quds reports that the Palestinian Authority and
Palestinian officials are still reviewing the proposals submitted by
Special Envoy George Mitchell to resume peace talks between the
Palestinians and Israelis. The reports note that PLO Chief
Negotiator Saeb Erekat met with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser
Joudeh and Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit in Cairo to discuss
their response to the proposals.

The local press, including social media sites from the West Banka
and Gaza, prominently highlight yesterday's announcement that the US
made an initial contribution of $40 million to UNRWA. The dailies
run photos of Consul General Daniel Rubinstein and UNRWA
Commissioner General Filippo Grandi signing the agreement at the
Dheisheh refugee camp. The Consul General is quoted noting the
importance of providing robust and early contributions to UNRWA in
light of the agency's anticipated funding deficit for 2010.
------------
BLOCK QUOTE:
------------
Under the title "A Sign of Hope and A Courageous Step" an editorial
in Al-Quds argues that the Palestinians are tired of the state of
division and its repercussions. The author urges Hamas and Fatah
leaders to take this opportunity now to regain national unity.

-----------------------
Palestinian Cyberspace:
-----------------------
A blog by Zahi Khouri, Chief Executive of the Palestinian National
Beverage Company, was circulated on Palestinian cyberspace. Mr.
Khoury is blogging in his role as a member of the Palestinian
Presidential Committee for Christian Affairs, who this week met in
Washington with church leaders, members of Congress, and civil
society leaders. The blog is titled 'National Prayer Breakfast:
Israeli occupation threatens Christian presence in Holy Land'
saying, "Israelis and Palestinians both want, and deserve, peace,
security and prosperity, but one group cannot have them at the
expense of the other...We believe that it is not too late. But the
United States and the international community must take action. As
Palestinians and as Christians, we call on President Obama and all
Americans to demonstrate the values that have made the United States
so admired around the world by supporting freedom and justice for
our people."
MARCHESE

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