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Braete-O01Ae.D P_NEA-1-42-00086480 UNCLASSIFIED MRN: SB TELAVIV 14 : ‘Jan 03, 2018 / 0308282 JAN 18 AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV ‘Action: JEDDAH, AMCONSUL Rourine; WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC rourine; USUN NEW YORK, USMISSION RouTiNe; RABAT, AMEMBASSY ROUTINE; LONDON, AMEMBASSY ROuTiNe; PARIS, AMEMBASSY ROUTINE; ROME, AMEMBASSY ROUTINE; RIYADH, AMEMBASSY ROUTINE; ANKARA, AMEMBASSY ROUnWNE; BEIRUT, AMEMBASSY ROUTINE; CAIRO, AMEMBASSY ROUTINE; AMMAN, AMEMBASSY ourine; ALGIERS, ‘AMEMBASSY ROUTINE; ABU DHABI, AMEMBASSY ROUTINE: JERUSALEM, AMCONSUL Rounne; WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON Dc rouTine; WASHDC, SECSTATE ROUTINE EO. 13528 Tacs: OPRC, KMOR, IL Subject: Tel Aviv Media Reaction: January 3, 2018 PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE TEL AVIV MEDIA REACTION Wednesday, January 3, 2018 ‘summary: In today’s report, media focuses mainly on Ambassador Haley's comments about de-funding LUNRWA and President Trump's tweet about cutting funding to the PA for not negotiating with israel [Aso in this report: PA President Abbas reacts to the passing ofthe Unified Jerusalem law; the death penalty bil comes toa vote; the IDF saying that Hezbollah has developed capabilites to strike at Israel's, off-shore gas platforms; Egypt expressing concern about the escalation in Gaza; reports that VP Pence will arrive in israel on January 21; and India cancelling a mult-million dollar deal with Israel. End Summary. (Click to jump: +_US-PALESTINIANS ‘© UNIFIED JERUSALEM LAW DEATH PENALTY BILL HEZBOLLAH Fizoresddtas > Page bed 5 Fea018.00140.5 P_NEA-1-42-00086480 GAZA ‘© VICE PRESIDENT PENCE’S VISIT TO ISRAEL © ISRAELINDIA =_siock quoTes US-PALESTINIANS Leading media report that U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned yesterday thatthe U.S. might stop funding the UN agency that helps the Palestinians, UNRWA, ifthe Palestinians continued in their refusal to hold negotiations. When asked whether the US. intended to continue funding UNRWA to the ‘same degree, in wake of the U.S. threat to take action against the UN and the members who voted ‘against the American declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital, she said that the president ro longer wished te fund the UN as long the Palestinians refused to go to the negotiating table. She said that the U.S. was trying to make progress inthe peace process, but ifthere were none, the president did not intend to continue the funding. President Trump Tweet Leading electronic media report that President Donald Trump has threatened to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority if t were to refuse to hold negotiations with Israel and that Israel would have “had to pay more" in future negotiations in return for his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December. President Trump made the comments on Twitter on Tuesday, saying: “I's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. Asan example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don't ‘even want to negotiate along overdue peace treaty with Israel.” He continued: "We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to ‘pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer wiling to talk peace, why should we make any of these ‘massive future payments to them?” Reactions: Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev commented on IDF Radio, saying that the American president was restoring sanity to international discourse: "These were very clear statements by @ president who said: stop groveling, stop the hypocrisy. We must say things as they are and restore 3 sane discourse to the entire world. He is creating a normative language in the international sphere.” CChaleman of the Palestinian Prisoner Club Kadoura Fares on IDF Radio attacked President Trump's statement and said: “We, to my great regret, have had no partner for along time. And that’s why, ifthe president of the United States wants to behave a if he shares the occupation of Palestine with Israel, hecan.” UNIFIED JERUSALEM LAW Leading media report that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sad that Israel has “declared war" on. the Palestinian people and islamic religious sites in Jerusalem. A statement released by his office ‘Tuesday said that the law isa de facto declaration by Israel thatthe peace process is over. Responding, to the news, Hamas said thatthe leislation's passage into law requires Abbas to cut his ties with \washington and declare the Oslo Accords null and void DEATH PENALTY BILL Fi2048:d01860 Page eg 5 Fea018-00140D P_NEA-1-42.00086480 Media repot that the Knesset is expected to vote today on a bill that wil allow a military court to impose the death penalty on terrorists with 2 majority of two out of three judges, and not by Unanimous decision as its today. According to reports, Haredi coalition members UTJ are expected to ‘vote against the bill a retaliation forthe bill's sponsors Visrael Beteynu voting against UTIs so-called “minimarkets bill” that would limit stores from operating on the Sabbath, HEZBOLLAH Ha‘aretz reports thatthe IDF has assessed that Hezbollah has acquired the capabilities to strike at Israe’s off-shore gas driling platforms in the Mediterranean. Ha'aretz quotes Israeli Navy chief Ma). Gen El Sharvit as saying that Hezbollah’ capabilities to strike the gas platforms are not only dectarative and that it developed a real strategic attack apparatus for this purpose. GAZA Ha'aretz reports that Egypt ls concerned atthe possible ramifications the escalation in Gaza could have ‘on reconciliation talks between warring Palestinian factions. According to the report, Israeli officials received worried messages emphasizing the importance of all sides exercising maximal care and patience in response to rocket fire - including Israel. Messages worded in a similar tone were sent to the Hamas leadership, calling on them to make every effort to prevent rocket fire by extremist factions. Mortar Fire IDF Radio reports that the mortar shells that were fired on Friday from the Gaza Strip towards Israel were fired by islamic Jihad in retaliation for Israel's demolition of a terrorist tunnel some two months {go in which 14 Islamic Jihad members were killed. The IOF inquiry found that the mortar shells ‘belonged to Islamic nad. It also found that the mortar shells were deliberately aimed to hit the birthday party being held in Kibbutz Kfar Azza for the late Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul Commentary ‘THIS ISN'T A DRIZZLE, IT'S A DELIBERATE ESCALATION Miltary affairs commentator Alex Fishman wrote in the mass-irculation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (2/3): “..niially, the drizzle of rackets that were fired at Israel was designed to serve the needs of the intra-Palestinian reconciliation talks and were aimed at pressuring the Palestinian Authority into easing funds. But in the wake of Trump's declaration about Jerusalem, that drizzle has aso taken on ’ political dimension and has evolved into @ Hamas policy that is designed to escalate tensions along, the border with Israel. srael now has to choose between cholera and the plague: between either having Hamas form an alliance in its distress with Iran or the intra-Paestinian reconalliation process. ‘While the latter will allow funds to flow into the Gaza Strips also liable to turn Hamas into a twin of, Hezbollah. Israel doesn’t want to choose.” VICE PRESIDENT PENCE’S VISIT TO ISRAEL Channel 10 News reported lastnight that Vice President Mike Pence is expected to visit Israel on January 21, according to a senior Israel source. According to the report, Vice President Pence is ‘expected to bein srael for 24 hours, in the course of which he will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition Chairman Yitzhak Herzog, and address the Knesset, Pence is not expected either to vist the Palestinian Authority of to meet with Palestinian officials during his time here due to the Palestinians’ efusal to meet with him. A high-ranking Israeli political official said that the date of Pence’s vist has not been finalized, but January 21is the date that the Prime Minister's Bureau and the White House are considering. Fi21e-d01a60 Page arg 5