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08JERUSALEM1765 2008-09-23 07:46:00 UNCLASSIFIED Consulate Jerusalem
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1. The main editorial of Al-Quds independent argues under the
title, "Judaization plans are Non-Stop As Are Efforts to Launch
Dialogue?!!" (09/23): "A few days ago construction started near the
Magreb Gate [Old City, Jerusalem] to build, it seems, settlement
neighborhoods. There is also the issue of the planned bridge [in
Jerusalem's Old City near the Al Aqsa mosque] despite numerous
Palestinian, Arabic and Islamic objections and demonstrations...
Here, what is peculiar is the announcement made by Jerusalem mayor
Uri Lupolianski, that the bridge to the Magreb gate will be
exclusively for Muslims and that construction is being carried out
jointly and in cooperation and coordination with UNESCO, the Islamic
Waqf and Jordan because of an Arab request to UNESCO's Heritage
Committee...!!! This issue needs to be clarified so that the public
understands what is really going on in the sensitive area leading to
Al-Haram Al-Sharif [Al Aqsa mosque compound]. Last year, after
Annapolis, the PLO... published a detailed report showing that
setlement units and tenders for settlement constructon have
accelerated into the thousands. Most of the construction is in the
Holy City, which is an explicit Israeli violation of understandings
reached at Annapolis... [U.S., Israel and Quartet] have turned a
blind eye to these violations and not one report has been issued to
expose the lack of Israeli commitment to its obligations ... Every
day Israel offers new evidence to skeptics that it is not interested
in genuine peace and is not serious about its commitments."

2. Under the title "Cairo Dialogue ... A Golden Opportunity",
columnist Mohannid Abid Al-Hamid argues in independent Al-Ayyam
(09/23): "It is really strange that Hamas continues to deny reality

JERUSALEM 00001765 002 OF 002

and try to prove that its resilience is paying off; that the siege
is ending without them having had to compromise their positions!...
The only standard by which Hamas measures its success is by its
ability to hold onto power at any cost. Probably [Hamas] considers
a meeting with a representative... from any country, or winning the
positive bias of Al-Jazeera as a worthy accomplishment. To say the
least, [Hamas] calculations are purely for the benefit of the party.
If the goal is to control the community without national
reconciliation and liberation and with a disregard for democratic
principles, political and cultural plurality, [Hamas'] authority has
lost its most fundamental justification [and legitimacy]..."