DE RUEHSG #1531 1991451
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181451Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9606 UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001531
STATE FOR IIP/G/WHA, INR/R/MR, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - MIDEAST - LEBANON, GAZA INCURSIONS
1. On July 14, private channel 4 Red TV:
"Chile joined the international community in condemning violence in
the Middle East. Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley met with the
Ambassadors to Chile from Lebanon, Algeria, Jordan, Syria, and the
Palestinian Authority. Minister Foxley condemned Israel's military
retaliation on Gaza and Beirut.
2. On July 14, private channel 11 Chilevision, international pundit
Raul Sohr commented:
"There is a subjacent conflict involving the U.S., the international
community and specifically Israel over Iran's nuclear program, which
is seen with suspicion because they believe (Iran) is developing an
atomic bomb... This is a crisis that could escalate globally...and
we are already seeing its direct consequences that affect all of us
through oil prices..."
3. On July 14, private channel 9 Mega international commentator
Libardo Buitrago said:
"We are facing a non-declared war, which has a chance of a peaceful
solution after Israeli Prime Minister Olmert said that Israel would
end the military offensive under three conditions: release of the
two kidnapped soldiers, a Hezbollah cease-fire, and a U.N.
resolution requiring the disarmament of the guerrilla..."
4. On July 15, private channel 11 Chilevision international analyst
Raul Sohr noted:
"The conflict is getting worse...It's beginning to configure a
foreseeable picture. Through land, air, and sea strikes Israel
seeks to fence and completely seal Lebanon.... It is likely that in
the next days Israel will enter Lebanon with its infantry...and we
all know that when it comes to a face-to-face combat involving the
infantry there is a rapid increase in the number of victims....
Israel intends a definitive strike on Hezbollah. I believe it is
very doubtful it will accomplish this. Israel already tried this in
the past with very minimal results.... The U.N. decision to send a
three-party committee to assess the situation is laughable.... The
background here is that the U.S. has provided its full support to
Israel. President Bush has justified Israel's military response,
while France, Great Britain, and Russia have described it as an
5. On July 16, private channel 11 Chilevision international analyst
Raul Sohr commented:
"Things are going from bad to worse. Israel increased the intensity
of its shelling against Lebanon... The situation doesn't show
chances of getting better. On the contrary, the leader of Hezbollah
has said that they will go to a total war and that they have many
arms and many surprises for Israel... For the first time, Iran has
said something: that under no circumstances would Hezbollah disarm.
Therefore, I believe that this crisis is under full development and,
unfortunately, there is much violence and death to come..."
6. On July 16, conservative, influential newspaper-of-record "El
Mercurio" (circ.116,807) carried an editorial entitled, "Crisis in
the Middle East." Quote:
"The Israeli military actions in Lebanon...have led to a dangerous
escalation...that calls for the immediate intervention of the
Security Council and the guarantors of the 'roadmap' -- the United
States, the European Union, Russia, and the U.N.... These powers
should...help end the military actions and the inclination to
disavow the sovereignty of states, regardless of the causes and
provocations and beyond Israel's right to legitimate defense....
They should also try to achieve the return of the abducted soldiers
and get guarantees of moderation from all parties involved.... This
crisis calls for the promotion and effective intervention by the
world leaders to immediately attain guarantees for peace and the
respect of international law."
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