DE RUEHJM #2175/01 3370929
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020929Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3420
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC//DAS-ZD/DACS-ZK//
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7428
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4410
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4261
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5755
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4177
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2744
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 002175
STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR ABRAMS
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 (12/02): ADMIRING THE U.S.
The papers lead with EU-Israeli relations and report that the EU's
French presidency has drafted a document to be adopted by the EU as
part of preparations for future relations with the Obama
administration. The EU paper calls on Israel to reopen the closed
Palestinian Orient House and other East Jerusalem organizations
closed by Israel, and to allow for continued deployment of
Palestinian security forces and police to the West Bank. The paper
deems that Palestinians have met their commitments under the road
map, and calls on Israel to meet its commitments, according to
coverage. Citing Israeli daily Haaretz, the papers reveal that
Israel is seeking to amend or change articles of the EU draft paper.
Al Ayyam and Al Hayat Al Jadida add that Palestinian Authority (PA)
Prime Minister Fayyad asked EU state mission chiefs on December 1 to
link the upgrading of EU-Israeli relations to Israel's compliance
with international law and the road map peace plan.
Al Quds' and Al Ayyam's front pages quote Palestinian Authority (PA)
Minister of Information Al-Malki confirming that PA security
deployment into Hebron will move forward despite Israel's call for
the recently deployed forces to withdraw. Speaking to press on
December 1, he explained that Israeli officials had first refused to
recognize the jurisdiction of Palestinian police and security forces
in Hebron, and then followed up with a request for their withdrawal.
The request was made, said Al-Malki, because Hebron area Israeli
settlers were "annoyed" by the presence of the new forces. He also
noted the rapidly expanding settlements in the city.
The papers front page attacks by Israeli settlers against
Palestinians on December 1 in Hebron. The papers report that four
Palestinians and three children were injured by Israeli settlers'
dogs. Al Hayat Al Jadida publishes a photo of the mauled face of a
victim, while Al Ayyam's front page leads with a photo of Israeli
settlers gathered in celebration at the "Rajaby" Palestinian house
in Hebron that is under Israeli court order to be evacuated of
settlers. The papers add that Israeli settlers clashed with Israeli
police on December 1, when settlers blocked West Bank roads near the
Nablus area Huwwara checkpoint.
Al Quds' and Al Hayat Al Jadida's front pages cite news agencies in
reporting that the Libyan aid ship destined for Gaza was turned away
by Israeli warships and docked at the Egyptian port of Al-Arish.
Libya hopes that supplies can be transferred to Gaza through the
Gaza/Egypt Rafah crossing. The two papers run photos of Gazans on
the beach and in boats waiting for the Libyan ship and holding
photos of Libyan President Gaddafy.
Al Quds' front page reports that president-elect Obama has named his
security team: Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, General James
Jones as National Security Council chief and Robert Gates as the
continued Secretary of Defense. The paper adds that for the first
time, President Bush expressed regret over the war in Iraq when
commenting on inaccurate intelligence reports about Iraqi weapons of
mass destruction. Al Hayat Al Jadida's front page cites news
agencies in quoting Obama on his foreign policy priorities, namely,
Middle East peace, Iran and Korea. On an inside page, Al Ayyam
cites AFP in quoting the speaker of the Russian Duma saying that the
appointment of Clinton as Secretary of State is "not good" for
Al Quds' and Al Hayat Al Jadida's front pages run the results of a
Near East Consulting poll showing that a majority of Palestinians,
84 percent, want simultaneous Palestinian Authority presidency and
legislative elections. Forty-nine percent would vote for a Fatah
presidential candidate, compared to 9 percent who would vote for a
Hamas candidate. Fifty-seven percent considered Hamas to be more
organized than Fatah, leaving 43 percent believing Fatah to be the
JERUSALEM 00002175 002 OF 002
better organized group. Seventy-three percent want a peace
agreement with Israel.
Al Ayyam's front page cites DPA in reporting that Hamas and Islamic
Jihad denied on December 1 that Israel has warned them that Israel
will launch a large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip if
Gaza rocket attacks on Israeli towns do not stop.
The papers' front pages run a photo and a news item about
Palestinian Authority President Abbas' visit to Qatar on December 1.
Abbas met with Qatari Emir and discussed the peace process and
1) Rajab Abu Saraya opines in Al Ayyam under the title, "Gaza
confronting its brothers" (12/02): "When Gaza becomes a burden to
the Arab system, the system will simply turn it's back on Gaza ...
being [then] at the mercy of the occupation... God forbid... its
loss... to Palestinians... will be great."
2) Hamad Al Majid writes in Al Quds under the title, "We hope for
the Americanization of the Palestinian conflict" (12/02):
"Americanization is a term that the Arab people don't like. They
have every right not to, because American policies conflict with
everything that is Arab or Islamic. But there is also a positive
side to "Americanization" [the peaceful two-party American political
system] which [in light of] the internal Palestinian conflicts in
particular, we need to import."