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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (02/23): The Europeans Start To

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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
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RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4892
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STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
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LONDON FOR HKANONA AND POL - TSOU
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS

SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (02/23): The Europeans start to
take a more active role in the peace process

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------The dailies lead with news on Palestinian Authority
(PA) President Mahmoud Abbas' meeting with French President Nicolas
Sarkozy in Paris yesterday. The reports note that both Presidents
agreed that peace in the region cannot be attained without
negotiations. Leading headlines in Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
quote Sarkozy noting that he agreed with Abbas on goodwill gestures
to support pushing the peace process forward. Abbas is quoted in
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's headline stating that negotiations come first
and then a declaration of the state. Abbas and Sarkozy noted that
the two state solution is the best mechanism to ensure a Palestinian
state that lives side by side with Israel in peace and security.
Al-Quds runs a headline quoting Sarkozy warning of a third intifada
in the Palestinian territories if the situation doesn't improve.

Al-Ayyam runs front page news on an article published by the French
newspaper Le Monde reporting that both the French and Spanish
Foreign Ministers stated that Europe must bear some responsibilities
for the peace efforts (in addition to the US) and must set a clear
timeframe for resuming negotiations. Both Ministers also suggested
that the EU hold a peace summit.

The dailies continue to report on the Palestinian condemnation of
the Israeli decision to add two holy sites in the West Bank to a
list of national heritage sites within its "Plan to Rehabilitate and
Strengthen Israel's National Heritage Infrastructure." Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida reports that the PA cabinet condemned the Israeli
announcement during its weekly meeting yesterday. Reports note that
a number of Palestinians protesting the decision in Hebron were
injured yesterday during confrontations.
Reports note that one Israeli soldier was injured during the
confrontations.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and Al-Ayyam report that Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton called President Abbas yesterday to reiterate the US
commitment to reach a fair solution to the Palestinian cause through
negotiations which will lead to 2 states living side by side in
peace and security.

The Palestinian press reports that the European Commission allocated
52 million Euros for immediate humanitarian aid to the Palestinian
territories.
------------
BLOCK QUOTE:
------------Editor-in-Chief of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Hafeth
Al-Barghouti opines in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida today under the title "The
European Position" that the recent European (Spanish-French)
initiative to recognize the Palestinian state comes as a response to
the US retreat from its commitments and pledges. Al-Barghouti
believes that this initiative is a threat to the US and Israel and
proof that the Palestinian state can be established even with
Israeli stubbornness and the US retreat


RUBINSTEIN

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