Israel Resource Review 1st May, 2005


For Second Day in a Row, Official Palestinian Media Accuses Israel of Murdering Arab Through Radiation Treatment
Dr. Michael Widlanski

Israel is using electronic search machines that kill Palestinians with radiation poisoning, the official Palestinian media declared again on Saturday, April 30th, for the second straight day.

Palestinian state television from Gaza reported Saturday that the Israeli machines were responsible for killing a 55-year-old woman at the Gaza checkpoint in Rafah who died of a heart attack after she was searched with the American-made device.

A cartoon depicting the Israelis poisoning Palestinians with radiation also appeared today in Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, a newspaper owned and controlled by the FATAH faction of Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO chairman and head of the Palestinian Authority.

See the cartoon at: AYYAM 4-30-05

The cartoon depicts a Jewish hand (Star of David on sleeve) holding a red-colored machine labeled "Rafah crossing" from which waves are emitted that are labeled "death and illness."

The charges today are the latest installment in a Palestinian Authority campaign to get Israel to stop using the advanced search equipment at border crossings where weapons and explosives have been smuggled and where Palestinian bombers have blown themselves up. Palestinian charges of Israel deliberately killing Palestinians with radiation is only the latest example of escalating Palestinian incitement against Israel in the form of atrocity stories.

This kind of incitement was a periodic feature under Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died in November, but this kind of incitement-especially stories about Israel killing children and women-has actually increased since Dr. Abbas has become the Palestinian leader.

The official Palestinian news service charged Thursday that Israel deliberately killed "an aged woman" with an American-made "radiation" machine designed to detect bombs and guns.

The item re-appeared Friday on the front page of Al-Hayat-Al-Jadeeda, a Palestinian newspaper controlled directly by Mahmoud Abbas's FATAH faction of the PLO.

"An aged woman died late on Wednesday at the Rafah crossing after being subjected to the Israeli radioactive detection device installed at the Rafah crossing to screen Palestinian travelers," asserted the official WAFA news agency controlled by PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

"Medics at Rafah said that the 55-year-old Fatema Abu Ubeid, of Rafah, died 15 minutes after she was subjected to the radial spy machine [sic] (axtrai) [sic], which Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) set up for searching the Palestinian passengers passing through the point," declared the WAFA bulletin on its English language website.

The report also appeared earlier in WAFA's Arabic language site (used by Palestinian newspapers, radio and television), and it continued to be displayed on the site today (Friday, April 29, 2005).

The strong charges are part of a consistent campaign this week by the Palestinian media against the use of advanced radio-wave machines at border checkpoints, following the Palestinian closure of their side of the border checkpoint in Gaza this week for several hours to protest.

"The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) decided on Tuesday to close Rafah cross point in a protest against Israeli use of a radiation device for searching the Palestinian travelers," declared the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds in a front page story Wednesday (April 27), echoing the WAFA report in Arabic.

The device in question, according to Israeli security officials, is actually the SafeView Millimeter Wave Radar - an American made "advanced portal using millimeter wave holographic technology to screen passengers for weapons and explosives."

In addition to pressuring Israel to stop using the advanced non-radiation detection machine, the Palestinian charges fit the new, somewhat more sophisticated pattern of propaganda used in the last four months under the regime of Dr. Abbas.

Unlike the propaganda of the Arafat period, the official Palestinian media-particularly the official television from Gaza-have largely stopped directly encouraging young boys to become "martyrs" through the airing of sexually suggestive or gory film montages and heated music videos and audio compilations.

But under Dr. Abbas, the Palestinian media have actually stepped up the use of incendiary mosque speeches broadcast on Palestinian radio and television-where both Israel and America are regularly attacked--as well as increased use of code-words in Arabic such as "resistance operations" to describe attacks on Israelis.

During the Arafat regime, Arafat himself, his wife and the Palestinian media frequently accused Israel of using "radioactive weapons" against the Palestinians such as "Uranium artillery shells" and "uranium bullets," as well as "poison gas."

Suha Arafat, who inherited some of Arafat's hidden money, accused Israel of deliberately poisoning Palestinian water supplies, and this theme, too, has re-surfaced periodically--in Palestinian newspapers and Palestinian radio--since Abbas succeeded Arafat as PLO chairman in December and as PA chairman in January.

Dr. Abbas, who studied at the KGB-run Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow in the 1980's, has been credited by both Western and Israeli media with having tamed the incitement in the Palestinian press, but since his election in January he has generally avoided condemning violence against Israeli targets.

After several Palestinian rockets fell in Israel this week, Dr. Abbas called the attacks a "deviation" from the "Palestinian consensus" and "contrary to Palestinian interests," but he did not condemn the attack or the attackers, despite reports to the contrary in the Western and Israeli press.

[Permission to quote or reprint from article conditional on citing Michael Widlanski or Michael Widlanski Associates.]

Dr. Michael Widlanski teaches political communication and comparative politics at the Rothberg School of Hebrew University.

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Russia Offers PA Range of Military Options
Middle East News Line

Russia has offered a range of military equipment and training to the Palestinian Authority.

Russian officials said President Vladimir Putin has proposed to donate Russian military helicopters, armored personnel carriers and instruction to Palestinian security forces. They said deliveries could begin by 2006 but might require Israeli approval.

"We will give the Palestinian leadership technical help and deliveries of [military] equipment and training," Putin said after meeting PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on April 29 in Ramallah.

Putin said Moscow would first supply two Mi-8 utility helicopters to the PA. In a later stage, Russia would transfer 50 BRDM-2 infantry fighting vehicles, also deemed an amphibious scout car.

"Today's Palestinian leadership should have the necessary resources," Putin said. "If we expect Chairman Abbas to fight terrorism effectively, he can't do it with slingshots and stones. We must understand this."

Putin said Russia would also offer a range of additional equipment as well as training to the PA. He cited the proposed transfer of communications equipment to bolster the capabilities of PA security units.

"We will render assistance to the Palestinian leadership in hardware supplies and personnel training," Putin said. "At the first stage, we will deliver rotary-wing aircraft and telecommunications, and provide Moscow-based training of security and police officers."

In the 1990s, the PA received 45 BRDM-2s from Russia. The PA also received two Mi-8s from former East Bloc countries.

All of the equipment was destroyed in 2002 during the war with Israel. Israel, which controls the borders with the PA areas, has objected to the latest Russian military offer to the Palestinians.

"We want this cooperation to be transparent, and not to alarm Israel," Putin said.

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