|Israel Resource Review
||8th June, 2005
Official PA media:
Israel Desecrates the Quran
Dr. Michael Widlanski
JERUSALEM--June 8, 2005-- Voice of Palestine radio offered great air time
Wednesday morning to charges that Israeli jailers in the Megiddo Prison had
deliberately desecrated three copies of the Quran, Islam's scripture, by
throwing the book on the floor during a search of Palestinian prisoners'
"Prisoners in Megiddo Prison began a three-day strike today to protest
the desecration of the Holy Quran in the prison yesterday by Israeli
security forces and police," declared V.O.P. radio.
The new charges of Quran desecration come at a time that Israel has
been charged with planning to desecrate Islamic holy sites, according to
the Palestinian broadcast and print media directly controlled by Mahmoud
Abbas, head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The PA media and its mosque speakers often draw a direct parallel
between "the American Occupation Army in Iraq" and "the Israeli Occupation
Army," strongly suggesting that both are enemies of Islam, while the
Palestinian media and text books make fun of the idea that there was ever a
Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
"Members of the police began hurling the copies of the Quran in front of
the eyes of the prisoners," Palestinian prisoners
said, according to V.O.P. radio.
The truthfulness of the story, Palestinian state radio said, was
vouched for by Israeli Arab MK Muhammad Baraka.
[Note-Israeli Arab MKs and the Israeli Islamic Movement had a major role in
the outbreak of the current Palestinian-Israeli War of 2000-2005 (in which
several thousand people have died) as well as the Temple Mount riots in 1996
(in which about 50 people died) after charges that Israel had desecrated the
grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The theme of Quran desecration has been an
important motif in the Palestinian media in the last three weeks, since
Newsweek Magazine charged American prison authorities with having desecrated
the Quran in an American-run prison in Cuba. About 20 people died in riots
following the Newsweek charges, that were later withdrawn -MW]
Earlier, V.O.P. radio opened its morning broadcasts with a re-run yesterday's
news that PA Prime Minister Ahmad Qreia (nicknamed Abu 'Ala) had strongly
condemned the Israeli policy of assassinations as carried out in Qabatya
yesterday(V.O.P. radio, 8 a.m.-Jerusalem Time).
Prime Minister Qreia called for international intervention to stop
Israeli war crimes, specifying intervention by the "Quartet"-the US, the
European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
Once again V.O.P. identified the dead men as Murawah Kmeil and Nasser
Abdel-Rahim Zakarna, and it pronounced them martyrs.
"This is a serious and direct danger to the tahdiyya," V.O.P. radio quoted
Qreia, referring to the so-called Palestinian "cooling-off period" of not
In its fifth news item, V.O.P. reported that the PA Interior Ministry had
published a statement calling for all Palestinian groups to observe the
tahdiyya for the sake of Palestinian national interests and national unity.
In its sixth item, V.O.P. morning news hinted at the four rocket attacks
on Sderot inside Israel yesterday when, citing "Israeli military sources,"
it mentioned that an Arab worker, identified as Salah Mraneh, was killed
when another rocket landed on an Israeli "colony" in Gaza. V.O.P. also told
its listeners that a rocket killed another man-a Chinese worker. It did not
tell its listeners that two Palestinian Arab workers had died in the attack,
but it reported that the attack was carried out by Islamic Jihad. There was
no condemnation or criticism of this action.
Report compiled by Michael Widlanski Associates.
Commissioned by the Center for Near East Policy Research.
[Permission to quote or reprint from article conditional on citing Michael
Widlanski or Michael Widlanski Associates.]
Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication
whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former
reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times
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Water Commission Official:
"Evacuation Liable to Fatally Damage Water"
"The implementation of the disengagement plan in northern Samaria will make it possible for the Palestinians-on the assumption that there is no coordination and agreement with Israel-to pump 50 million cubic meters of water a year for households and agriculture. This will fatally damage the Israeli water system in the Gilboa, Harod and Beit Shean region," says Dr. Yosef Draizin, director of the planning department in the Water Commission, in an official document that he wrote and gave to Water Commissioner Shimon
The document, which Dr. Draizin wrote in July 2004, states "all this
time the sides have held ongoing contacts on water and sewage, they have
coordinated and acted in agreement, in accordance with the chapter on
water written in agreements. The practical implementation of
disengagement is liable to be reflected in unilateral Palestinian
actions, and they may allow themselves to take actions that until now
they refrained from doing either willingly or because of Israeli control
on the ground."
Dr. Draizin states, "the Palestinian water plans are far-reaching
insofar as utilizing natural water resources, mainly the mountain river
basins. They consider this, along with the Jordan River sources, as
having the potential of up to 700 million cubic meters a year as a right
given them along with control on the ground." Analyzing the "fatal"
damage to the Israeli water system, Draizin writes, "this damage will be
seen, directly, in a shortage of 50 million cubic meters a year, along
with a significant rise in the salinity of a good many of the wells and
springs in the valleys." Draizin also wrote, "it is important to note
that not coming up with alternatives for the water in the region will
cause the collapse of the system and the
residential/agricultural/tourist/economic fabric. The ramifications of
unilateral disengagement, or our consent to conceding our rights to
water from the mountain aquifer in all of Judea and Samaria, are even
more far reaching."
Draizin analyzes the various significances to the water system: "The
significance on the national level is that it will lose a central and
high quality source. We estimate that losing the mountain aquifer can be
offset, beyond the direct quantity, by desalinating 50 to 300 million
cubic meters. relying so massively on artificial sources constitutes a
very significant strategic risk, when it comes to water. We estimate
that under present conditions, it will be necessary to desalinate up to
500 million cubic meters to meet Israel's needs up until 2020." [.]
The document is based on the assumption that Israel will lose
security control of the area that it evacuates in northern Samaria,
something that is denied by the Prime Minister's Bureau. The Prime
Minister's Bureau commented that this warning is not relevant because
according to the disengagement plan, Israel will retain security control
of the area evacuated in northern Samaria. Water Commissioner Shimon Tal
told Ma'ariv yesterday: "Indeed, every cubic meter of water pumped from
the Judea and Samaria mountain ridge is at Israel's expense, either in
water or in the salinity of the underground water table. Our position
was presented to all the officials." When he was asked if Israel were
not, in fact, about to lose control, he said: "Yes, and if we keep
control of the area, then seemingly there will not be a problem."
This piece ran in Maariv on June 8th, 2005
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