|Israel Resource Review
||8th March, 2001
Official Palestinian Radio News: The Voice of Palestine (V.O.P.) March.8th
Official PLO Denial of Contacts with the Sharon Government
Summary and Analysis
V.O.P. went out of its way to deny or to discount various reports on
Israeli state radio and television that supposedly indicated the Sharon
Government's reaching out for contacts with the Palestinian Authority.
In its 9 p.m. Thursday night news round-up V.O.P. quoted Jibril Rajoub, PA
West Bank counter-intelligence head, and Marwan Barghouti, Fatah West Bank
secretary, in a categorical denial of Israeli State TV's report that they
had held a meeting with Israeli Shin Bet (a.k.a. Shabak or G.S.S.) head Avi
"No such meeting was held, nor will it be held," said Rajoub, calling the
report a lie.
Similarly, V.O.P. made no mention whatsoever of supposed greetings sent by
Yasser Arafat to Ariel Sharon, as was reported for several hours by Voice of
Israel radio. But in its final broadcast of Thursday (midnight
Thursday/Friday), V.O.P. said Arafat had received an answer to his letter to
Fatah secretary Barghouti also featured prominently in another report on
the meeting between Fatah heads and European consuls in Ramallah.
Barghouti was quoted as saying that peace was "a strategic choice" by the
Palestinians, but that peace had to put an end to settlements and occupation
as well as restoring all Palestinian rights. Barghouti called on Europe to
take a greater role in the peace process because America was not doing
Throughout the day, several PA ministers and high officials took a tough
stance against the Sharon government, especially Arafat's own spokesman,
Nabil Abu-Irdeineh, who said Israel had to choose between a military
solution or negotiations based on international legitimacy (UN resolutions)
and previous positions staked out by the Barak government.
For example, PA Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nabil Amr said Sharon's
opening speech in the Knesset was full of threatening elements. Minister Amr
said "the Tel Aviv government" headed by Sharon had to implement the
registered agreements, including the one at Sharm al-Sheikh by immediately
ending the siege and the aggression against the Palestinians, instead of
demanding "an end to what he calls violence."
PA Information Minister Yasser Abd-Rabbo said Sharon's speech was an
attempt to justify continued settlement and Occupation.
V.O.P. focused on what it said was the takeover of a house in the Old City
by "Jewish extremists," which was "part of Israel's Judaization of
Jerusalem." It also reported that Israeli settlers had established six new
mobile homes near Kafr Yabd in the Jenin district.
In addition, the tone of V.O.P. broadcasts detailing Israeli-Palestinian
clashes is now focusing intense hatred at the settlements themselves as the
source of Israeli "aggression" both physically and morally. In other words,
in almost all descriptions-which begin with very general headlines
(e.g."Israel continues its aggression in various parts of the homeland")-the
settlements are depicted as land-grabbing pirates who inflict harm against
innocent Palestinian civilians. The settlements are the source and the cause
of Israeli artillery and heavy automatic weapons fire.
Even if and when there is a fall-off in military activity (as when only
one or two people are wounded in a 24-hour period), V.O.P. continues to use
lurid and general headlines portraying a sense of escalating bloodshed and
catastrophic economic conditions.
V.O.P. used "Woman's Day" as a platform to honor the role of Palestinian
women in the Intifada, particularly as martyrs.
Thursday Morning Round-up Headlines
- "Today march 8 is International Woman's Day;
- Extremist Jews take over house in the Old city of holy Jerusalem;
- Israel continues using its army and its settlers in aggression
against our people in various locations in the homeland;
- Israeli government holding ceremonies for new ministers;
- Arab and international reactions to the formation of the new Israeli
- The European representative to the Middle East holds talks in Amman
with Jordanian prime minister;
- American secretary of state Colin Powell says that the reappraisal of
the sanctions against Iraq does not mean an easing of the sanctions that
have been in place for ten years."
Quotes from Item on Woman's Day, V.O.P. morning broadcast
"Special blessings from the Voice of Palestine to Palestinian women on
the occasion of International Woman's Day, for attaining national goals and
social goals and for sacrificing as martyrs and as mothers of martyrs,
(mothers of) prisoners and wounded. And blessings to men in the jails who
will soon be liberated. And do not think that women were not targets for the
bullets of the Occupation. The martyr Aida Fathiyya (43-year-old mother
killed this week near Ramallah) was a target for the occupiers in the
settlement of Psagot-she who was the other of three children at the time she
came back from buying things for the holiday."
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"With the Help of Allah, You Will Reach Jerusalem"
Roni Shaked and Yuval Karni
Yediot Aharonot, Daily Israeli Newspaper, page 11
In an interview with Palestinian television about two months ago, the new Israeli government minister Salah Tarif said he regrets that the Druze serve in the IDF and fight "their brothers."
Tarif called upon Israel to release all the "Palestinian prisoners," and added that he wishes good health to Hamas's spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin.
Of prime minister elect Ariel Sharon who appointed him as a
minister in his cabinet, he said: "Will the person who defiled the el-Aksa Mosque rule once again?"
The Israeli research institution "Palestinian Media Watch,"
which monitors broadcasts in the Palestinian media in the territories gave Yedioth Ahronoth a copy of a tape of the interview which was aired on January 23.
In the interview ,Tarif also said: "If Israel does not put an
end to the conflict by establishing a Palestinian state, then the Druze Arab community will not have no choice but to reassess the situation and take a brave stand, no matter the price."
As to the Druze serving in the IDF, Tarif said: "Unfortunately the Druze soldiers are recruited by law and not by choice. Unfortunately there are others who volunteer." He also addressed the chief of staff: "Why are you sending Druze and Bedouin soldiers to the lines of confrontation with the Palestinians? We do not want to be a part of the provocation."
Tarif even boasted: "I am responsible for every unit with Druze in it that was taken out of the confrontation line with our Palestinian brothers."
Tarif also addressed the Palestinian people and said with regard to the riots: "I am certain that this great sacrifice, with the help of Allah, will lead to the establishment of the State of Palestine, to Jerusalem and to el-Aksa."
Besides the harsh criticism he directed at Sharon, Tarif
called several people who are currently sitting around the cabinet table with him, such as Tzahi Hanegbi, "right wing fascists."
Minister Tarif said yesterday in response: "I would never in my life say such things. It is simply outrageous that anyone thinks I could say such a thing."
It should be noted that Yedioth Ahronoth has a tape of the interview.
Salah Tarif, the first non-Jewish minister in the history of the State of Israel was sworn in as minister yesterday with mixed emotions. On the one hand, he feels pride at the historic moment, and on the other, he is concerned over serving as a minister in a government headed by Ariel Sharon. "If heaven forbid, there should be a deterioration, I will be in a
very awkward position," Tarif said yesterday.
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