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08JERUSALEM1721 2008-09-16 10:00:00 UNCLASSIFIED Consulate Jerusalem
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1. Under the title, "Required... Exit From Useless Debate", Al-Quds
independent opines in its main editorial (09/16): "The debate over

JERUSALEM 00001721 002 OF 002

President Mahmud Abbas' remaining time in office is heating up over
the issue of whether it will end on January 9 or at the end of the
[Palestinian Authority's] Legislative Council cycle in 2010... this
is not the issue at all... The division... is deepening despite all
mediation efforts to date and those that will continue until Eid
Al-Fitr. Those [Hamas] who declare that they will not acknowledge
the legitimacy of the President after January 9 must answer a basic
question: Do they acknowledge today the legitimacy of the President
and the Presidency? Are they prepared to respond and positively
deal with the President and the Presidency?! The answers are simple
and clear: Those who support national division are the same ones
creating the destructive national crisis and the political vacuum.
The only solution to any internal crisis is through the restoration
of national unity... not through the stoking of disputes here and
there that can only serve narrow factional and party goals."

2. Regular columnist in independent Al-Ayyam Rajab Abu Sarriya
opines under the title, "Gaza Faces One of Two Scenarios" (09/16):
"What Khalid Mish'al declared in Damascus [non legitimate President
unless new elections held in January] clearly reveals, leaving no
room for doubt, the unchanged Hamas position that does not seek nor
desire... dialogue, at least in the next four months until
presidential elections and before the truce with Israel ends...
Mish'al himself announced a couple of weeks back that the only
funder of his movement is Iran, thus completing the picture, as if
saying to the Arab world who seek an end to Palestinian division...
that we [Hamas] have no use for you [Arabs], you give us nothing.
Gaza is now faced with one of two scenarios, either dialogue will
actually begin, and end the division before the year is over ...
Or, Egyptian attempts and Arab follow-up efforts will continue until
both parties- Arabs and Egyptians- are forced to carry out their
threats to publicly label Hamas a hindrance to dialogue... This
would leave the door wide-open for President Mahmud Abbas to carry
out his threats to declare Gaza a rebel region, disobedient to the
legitimate central power... this will lead to a tight closure and
complete isolation of the Gaza Strip."