Israel Resource Review 17th May, 2005


Analysis of the Palestinian Media
April 29-May 16, 2005:
An Examination of Palestinian Political Communication Development:
Moderation and Democratization Vs. Incitement Under the Abbas Regime


In late April and early May, the official Palestinian Authority (PA) media concentrated on the following issues:

  • Israeli threats against Jerusalem, not just by "Jewish extremists" but by the Israeli government itself;
  • atrocity stories about Israeli treatment of Palestinian women, children such as the use of Israeli radiation devices at Gaza checkpoint and new weapons that paralyze and burn demonstrators;
  • glorification of those "martyred" attacking Israeli targets;
  • local Palestinian elections.

The comments about Israeli attacks and threats on Jerusalem were prominently displayed in all three daily newspapers and on PA television and radio. Indeed, the broadcast treatment of the threats and attacks was given greater weight by the regular and repeated broadcasts (sometimes four times a day and for three days in succession) of PA Prime Minister Ahmad Qreia declaring that the Israeli government was attacking Al-Aqsa and "Judaizing" Jerusalem. This was reinforced by the Friday mosque speeches by Shiekh Ibrhaim Mudeiris, Mufti Sheikh Ikrema Sabry and other Islamic speakers as well as interviews with them. There was also a strong anti-American current that was occasionally attached to the criticism of Israel.

A major motif in the Palestinian media was the use of atrocity stories-especially stories of deliberate Israeli radiation poisoning-led by reports from the PLO-run WAFA news agency that were followed by reports on radio and the three newspapers, some of which also devoted cartoons (Al-Hayat) or spin-off articles (Al-Ayyam) to the subjects.

The local elections were originally played as a big victory for Fatah, run by Mahmoud Abbas, and in the late stages of the campaign, Fatah was also given free radio time. However, subsequent results indicated PA-PLO-Fatah surprise and concern at the results, as well as the possibility of delaying national voting in July.

Note on Media: The three Palestinian newspapers-Al-Ayyam, Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda and Al-Quds claim to be independent, but the first two are completely Fatah-oriented, while Al-Quds also receives heavy subsidy and supervision, although it is a bit more independent. The broadcast media are completely controlled by the regime of Mahmoud Abbas, successor to Yasser Arafat as head of both the PLO and the PA.

April 28-29, 2005
Israeli army murders old arab woman with "radiation machine" at checkpoint, Palestinian media claim

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

It was only the latest example of the atrocity story motif, that has included phony reports of deliberate Israeli murders of Palestinian children, which has come to typify Palestinian incitement against Israel and America under the new regime of Mahmoud Abbas who succeeded Yasser Arafat as the Palestinian leader.

"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. [See]

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."

Background Analysis

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.

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.

April 29
America and Israel attacked harshly in televised Palestinian mosque speech

The Palestinian Authority's official televised mosque speech Friday included a fiery attack on the United States accusing it and Israel of wanting to occupy and dominate the Arab world.

"Our enemies want to occupy Arab and Islamic lands under their leadership," declared Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris, a charismatic mosque speaker employed and paid by the Palestinian Authority directed by Dr. Mahmoud Abbas.

Dr. Abbas, who is expected to visit the United States within a month, had promised both the United States and Israel that he would eliminate incitement against Israel and the United States. But this has not happened.

Since his selection in January as Palestinian successor to Yasser Arafat, Abbas has let certain kinds of incitement-such as broadcast mosques speeches-go unchecked.

"Our enemy has become strong and fed on us like prey in our lands in the East and in the West because we are weak, and our only strength lies in the Quran." declared Sheikh Mudeiris in his mosque speech in Gaza.

The mosque preacher declared that the un-named enemy-which was clearly meant to be America and Israel-had deliberately tried to cause "civil war" among the Arab world. Abbas himself told Egyptian journalists last month in Arabic newspaper interviews that any attempts by him to rein-in Palestinian militants would lead to "civil war."

"Our enemies have succeeded in stirring up strife between us and our Arab brothers," asserted Sheikh Mudeiris. His comments seemed an extension of Abbas's retort to American and Israeli complaints about Palestinian incitement and lack of serious action against Palestinians amassing arms and explosives.

In fact, Voice of Palestine radio and PBC television-- continually poke fun at Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's demand "to stop what he calls terror."

Abbas himself has been very sensitive to the American and Israeli criticism, especially because the Israelis have threatened to intervene if he does not stem mounting Palestinian attacks.

Abbas has, therefore, for short periods, removed or restrained certain elements of incitement from the airwaves or from newspapers which are under strong control of his regime.

This intermittent restraint has included the removal of most "martyr films" from Palestinian television, but it has come with the parallel promotion of atrocity stories about Israelis deliberately murdering Palestinian children.

In addition, there has been an increase in the use of certain code-words such as "resistance operations" and "martyrs" that glorify, rather than condemn, certain attacks on Israeli targets.

This comes at a time when PLO Chairman Abbas, who is also head of the PA, is working hard to bring HAMAS and Jihad into the PA before national legislative elections scheduled for July. Since he stepped up his courtship of the Islamic groups HAMAS and Islamic Jihad in February, Abbas has shown himself largely unwilling to restrain the incitement, preferring to treat the Israeli charges as an Israeli strategy to torpedo the "peace process."

In a meeting with Israeli correspondents this week, Abbas accused Israel of "incitement" against him, by spreading reports that he was not trying to fight terror and incitement-two words that the Palestinian media use only to describe Israeli actions: building a protective fence and roadblocks, for example. Arab attacks on Israelis are never described as "terror" (Arabic: irhaab) in the Palestinian media.

Meanwhile, the PA's own salaried mosque speakers have come to sound almost identical to the material put on the internet by the Islamic terror groups HAMAS and Islamic Jihad, who Abbas has invited into the PA regime.

The charismatic preacher, wearing his customary white robe timed in gold did not mention America and Israel directly, but his use of the term "occupiers" is a customary code-name for both the United States and Israel whose forces are termed "the American Occupation Army" and "the Israeli Occupation Army."

In recent speeches, Sheikh Mudeiris has also repeated charges that Israel is plotting attacks on Islamic holy places-a theme he mentioned tangentially today in a speech dedicated to the birthday of Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

Similar comments have been voiced repeatedly by Prime Minister Ahmad Qreia (also known as Abu 'Ala) and chief PA negotiator Saeb Arikat.

"We are in a jihad," declared Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris.

"Yes we are in a jihad," repeated Sheikh Mudeiris several times in his speech in which he praised the late Yasser Arafat and Dr. Abbas as helping the spread of Islam.

"There have been 500 new mosques established in Gaza during our current struggle[the current four-year war against Israel-MW], and where could expect something like that, from the United States and Israel," asked the sheikh rhetorically.

"All Muslims share a responsibility," asserted Sheikh Mudeiris, a noted supporter of the Al-Qaeda organization.

"All Arabs, All Muslims. There is no escaping taking part in our struggle here in Palestine. We are under curfew. We are in jail. All our brothers, Arabs and Muslims must take part in lifting our banner by all means."

In his mosque speech last week, Mudeiris accused the United States of wanting to control and conquer the entire Islamic world, and in previous weeks he has accused the United States of forcibly converting Muslim prisoners to Christianity.

May 2-3, 2005
The official Palestinian Authority (PA) media sent a series of mixed messages to the Palestinian audience today regarding continuing violence against Israeli targets.

PA officials and the PA endorsed the "tahdiyya"-"cooling off period" or "lull"-while also extolling as a "heroic martyr" an escaped terrorist who opposed the "lull."

"A new day at the Voice of Palestine, respected listeners, and at the start of our news is the heroic martyrdom of citizen Shafiq 'Awni Abdul-Ghani, 37, commander of the Battalions of Jerusalem of the Islamic Jihad in the village of Saida near Tulkarm during an invasion of the Israeli occupation army." (V.O.P. radio 8 a.m.)

The clash in Tulkarm between Israeli forces and members of a unit of the Islamic Jihad was treated by Voice of Palestine radio (Ramallah) and PBC Television (Gaza) as an unjustified act of aggression and an invasion of Palestinian sovereignty in an area that had been returned to PA control.

The dead Jihadi terrorist was part of Jihad unit responsible for the recent attack on a nightclub in Tel Aviv, according to Israeli army sources, and he was the local commander of Jihad, according the PA media.

The harsh anti-Israeli and pro-Jihad tone of the PA media was evident, even though, the PA had promised to disarm or to co-opt all militias, stopping their attacks on Israeli targets, and even though the dead terrorist had "escaped" from a PA jail.

The somewhat ambivalent attitude of the highest PA officials to the continuing activities of the Islamic organizations-HAMAS and Jihad-was apparent during a morning interview on PBC Television with Deputy PA Prime Minister Nabil Sha'ath:

PBC Television intervew and lead-in, Deputy Palestinian Prime Minister Nabil Sha'ath

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian-Palestinian conflict, but it is important to enforce the law against anyone who has violated the law and broken the cooling off period (tahdiyya)."

"It is not acceptable to play with the law and to threaten national unity and national security."

Asked about the sovereignty of law, Dr. Sha'ath supported it, but he added, "we distinguish between the rifle of the soldier and the rifle the killer, and we distinguish between the rifle of the resister and the rifle of the one who threatens people's rights….We want the cooling-off to succeed. We do not want to give Israel excuses, and as you know they love excuses. (PBC Television 7:15 a.m.)

Hamas-PLO Relations

Regarding HAMAS, V.O.P. radio, which is controlled by PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas, continued to treat the Islamic organization with great respect but also to hint that a HAMAS election victory would hurt Palestinian interests:

"In another matter Israeli sources say that it is necessary to open negotiations with the Hamas should Hamas win the legislative elections…but sources close to Sharon say that no party in Israel will deal with HAMAS if it wins the elections…

In a related matter, secret talks are taking place between the leadership of HAMAS and European and American negotiators, with positive results, according to the sources. And according to sources involved in the talks there are contacts between HAMAS and the American administration and to hold a meeting between the leadership and the Americans in a European capital." [V.O.P. RADIO 7:58 a.m.]

From Palestinian Newspapers:

Al-Quds reports that PA Gaza security chief Muhammad Dahlan promises not to allow destruction of settler houses in Gaza.

Deputy PA Prime Minister Nabil Sha'ath
May 2 Interview on PA Television

Dr. Sha'th made it clear that the PA would not try to disarm or arrest members of HAMAS, Jihad or Fatah, but only to stop Palestinians who hurt other Palestinians.

"We distinguish between the fighter (muqatil) and the killer (qatil), between the resister (muqawim) and the criminal (mujrim)."

"Dr. Nabil Sha'ath, Deputy Prime Minister, declared there is no such thing as a Palestinian-Palestinian conflict, but it is important to enforce the law against anyone who has violated the law ad broken the period of cooling-off (tahdiyya). Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah, Dr. Shaath said it was not acceptable to play with the law and to threaten national unity and national security."

Abbas attacks Israeli 'war crimes' and 'intentional murder' of 2 youths as deliberate attempt to bust cease fire

JERUSALEM--May 5, 2005
The official Palestinian Authority (PA) media opened their reports Thursday with a slashing attack on Israel for "deliberately killing" two Palestinian youths yesterday as part of an intentional Israeli plan to bust the Palestinian-Israeli ceasefire.

The Palestinian broadcast media, quoting a spokesman for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, said that Israel planned the deaths of 'Uday 'Aasi, 15, and Jamal 'Aasi, 17 who were killed when attacking fence-building operations near Beit Liqiyya.

"The two youths were martyred heroically when the Israeli Occupation Army fired its weapons at them in the village of Beit Liqiyya north west of Ramallah when they opposed Israeli bulldozers building the racist separation fence. Glory and eternity to our immaculate martyrs." (PBC 7 a.m.)

The Palestinian media said that a spokesman for PA president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the "war crime" as "an intentional escalation which was designed to destroy the 'hudna,' and it will bring forth reactions."

Neither the Palestinian media nor Palestinian officials specified what "reactions" might be forthcoming.

Israeli Maj. Gen. Ya'ir Naveh suspended the Israeli army commander at the scene of the shooting, pending completion of an investigation of whether the soldiers were justified in shooting at the men who attacked them with rocks.

"The Israeli government is not carrying out its agreements to withdraw from our cities, to release our prisoners, and it is building a barrier fence on our lands," declared a statement by the presidential spokesman read on PBC television and Voice of Palestine (V.O.P.) radio.

"The Israeli government is sending a message of terrorism to us," reported Khalil Abu-Arab, the V.O.P. correspondent in Ramallah during a report Thursday morning, using the term "irhaab" (terror) repeatedly, a term which is not employed in the Palestinian media to describe Palestinian actions.

Meanwhile, the head of Israeli military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze'evi (Farkash) has spent the last two days trying to send a message of conciliation and optimism. In an interview on Voice of Israel radio, Gen. Zeevi said he believed that PA leader Abbas was working hard to curb Palestinian violence and to collect arms held by Palestinian terror groups.

Gen. Ze'evi made similar comments in a cabinet briefing yesterday, but his conclusions and analysis were challenged strongly by Avi Dichter, the head of the "Shabak" or "Shin-Bet," Israel's domestic intelligence service. They have also been challenged by Israeli army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, but both Dichter and Ya'alon are being pushed out of their jobs within a few weeks.

An Israeli sergeant, Dan Telesnikov, was killed by Islamic Jihad terrorists in Tulkarm, a Palestinian city where the PA leadership was supposed to have disarmed insurgents several weeks ago, and there is considerable discomfort in the Israeli army about the politicization of intelligence reporting and operations.

Gen. Ze'evi and several analysts vetted by him have contended that the PA has also sharply curtailed Palestinian incitement against Israelis such as stopping "martyr films." However, the official Palestinian radio and television outlets have actually stepped up incitement in several ways such as through the broadcasting of virulent mosque speeches, embracing terrorists as "martyrs" and derogatory references to "the Tel Aviv government."

[Background Note: "Hudna" is a temporary ceasefire between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, but the PA and the Hamas have consistently used the term "tahdiyya" which means even less-a partial "lull" or "cooling-off". Abbas holds the title of chairman of the PLO and president or chairman of the Palestinian Authority ].

MAY4-6, 2005-05-Summary

The Palestinian newspapers continued to praise Shafiq Awni, the Jihad commander from Tulkarm and those in his Jihad organization. Newspapers and television showed pictures of his body decorated with verses from Quran as well as people touching his body in reverence.

The newspapers also included material from Abbas speeches that made clear that the PA leader is demanding total Israeli withdrawal as well as total release of all Palestinian prisoners.

PA media single out head of Israeli military intelligence

Jerusalem May 6, 2005
Israeli Major General Aharon Ze'evi (whose original last name was Farkash) today joined the list of this week's Palestinian heroes-most of them dead "martyrs"-but at least he did not have to sacrifice his life.

Major General Aharon Ze'evi (Farkash), the head of Israeli intelligence became a hero in Friday's Palestinian press which quoted his words to show that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, called Abu Mazen, was keeping his agreements.

"Farkash criticizes Sharon statements and support Abu-Mazen's security policy," joyfully headlined Al-Ayyam, a daily newspaper of Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party.

The Israeli general was quoted as approving the security measures taken by Palestinian leader Abbas.

The Palestinian paper gleefully cited the Israeli general's remarks in order to skewer Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who, apparently said in public for the first time this week what many Israeli security people have been saying privately for some time: that PA leader Abbas was aiding, rather than curbing, terror.

The Israeli general's warm words about Dr. Abbas, which were cited inside the Israeli cabinet Wednesday and on Israeli radio yesterday, appeared today on the front page of Al-Ayyam's internet edition and print edition. (See

May 6-8, 2005

During the weekend, the Palestinian Authority (PA) media covered a variety of subjects ranging from last week's local elections to this week's overseas trip of Mahmoud Abbas to Brazil, Chile, Japan and China. The PA media and officials also returned to several themes that have been paramount in recent weeks:

  • to warn about "an invasion of Al-Aqsa mosque" by Jewish extremists Monday this week;
  • the sale of Greek Orthodox Church property inside Jerusalem's Old City to Jews;
  • and Israel's failure to meet Palestinian demands.

All the media covered the contribution of the United Arab Emirates to build a big housing complex in Gaza.

Hamas-PLO Relations

Palestinian television reported Sunday afternoon that Dr. Abbas would meet with Hamas's leader, Khaled Mash'al in one of the capital on Abbas's travel list. Earlier in the week, Al-Quds reported that Mash'al, who usually resides in Damascus, had made campaign appearances in Gaza, saying that HAMAS would only decide in a few months whether the "national interest" of the Palestinians called for it to keep observing a "lull" in fighting Israel or resumption of fighting.

From Palestinian newspapers and broadcasting:

In Friday's and Saturday's newspapers, there was a strong stress on an apparent Fatah victory in the local elections. The Fatah-oriented Al-Ayyam on Saturday cited a huge victory over Hamas(Lead Headline: "Fatah 58%, Hamas 33%"), as did the Fatah-oriented Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda on Friday ("Fatah sweeps second round of elections"), while Al-Quds indicated that final results would be available Sunday.

Voice of Palestine radio headlined Saturday morning: "Fatah sweeps to victory while Hamas refuses to accept defeat."

By Sunday, the tone in the news section of the Fatah papers and V.O.P. had changed. Sunday's internet edition of Al-Hayat spoke of election results being delayed until Monday, and the issue was soft-pedaled on the front pages of both Fatah papers' print editions, apparently because final results indicate Hamas did better than Fatah hoped.

In their cartoons, both Al-Quds and Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda treated the election process as a flowering plant that had to be carefully tended.

Al-Quds cartoon May 8, 2005,

Saturday's Al-Hayat spoke of an "Intifada" against Greek Orthodox clerics led by Ireneius I, who, the newspaper said, were seeking refuge under Israeli protection, after having sold property to Jews in Jerusalem near Jaffa Gate. Al-Quds took a similar line, suggesting the Greek Orthodox leadership was being deposed.

Voice of Palestine Radio featured strong anti-Israeli comments Sunday by PA Minister Kadoura Fares who said of the Israelis: "They have killed enough of our children and our old men." He and PLO negotiator Saeb Arikat once again said that Israel was violating agreements to free all Palestinian prisoners and to withdraw from Palestinian cities. Also speaking on Sunday, Arikat returned to the theme that international pressure must be put on Israel in order to take away its control of the crossing from Egypt into Gaza. "They have turned Gaza into a big prison. That is what they want: to turn Gaza into a big prison."

Palestinian Television: In the Friday May6 Gaza mosque speech on Palestinian television, the charismatic Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris, who last week repeated themes of jihad against infidels, was replaced by the more staid Sheikh Muhammad Ibrahim Abdul-Hamoud.

May 9-10, 2005 Summary and Background

From Sunday May 8 through Tuesday May 10, the Palestinian Authority (PA) media emphasized the "threat of an attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque" and the threat of "the polluting of the holy Jerusalem shrine" (Arabic: Al-Haram Al-Qudsi Al-Sharif) by Jewish extremists.

However, Palestinian media reports today (May 10) testify to the fact that the Jewish threat did not materialize, but the inflamed reports apparently achieved their goal: there were clashes between Arab demonstrators and Israeli police.

May 9 Opening Headlines, Voice of Palestine 7 A.M. News:

  • "Efforts to prevent group of Jewish extremists from polluting blessed Al-Aqsa today as hundreds of [Palestinian] citizens sneak into the mosque at night to defend the shrine against the [Israeli] Occupation entrenched operations."
  • "Occupation police try to block supply of bread to Al-Aqsa to prevent citizens from entering it."

May 10 Lead Headline al-Ayyam Newspaper

"The mobilization of citizens protects al-Aqsa, thwarting attempted attacks by jewish groups", declared the newspaper Al-Ayyam, run by Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party.

The same newspaper cross-leads on the other side of its front page with a photo of a demonstrator confronting an Israeli policeman mounted on a horse outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City. [See]

Palestinian television and radio reported Tuesday that 17 Arabs and six Israeli policeman were wounded in clashes at the Temple Mount. On the previous day, Monday May 9, Palestinian television from Gaza opened its broadcasts with continuous warnings that the Islamic shrines in Jerusalem were in danger of attack and pollution. Anchorman Muhammad Yassin (PBC 7 a.m.) reported the threat for nearly four minutes while PBC television aired canned footage of "Jewish extremists" from several weeks ago (including clashes with Israeli police while closing a highway in Tel Aviv), without informing viewers where the material was filmed and that the material was archival. The clear impression was that the film editors at PBC wanted to create the impression of imminent physical attacks in Jerusalem.

From Palestinian newspapers and broadcasting:

Tuesday afternoon May 10 (1 p.m.-2 p.m.) V.O.P. radio ran a series of interviews with Islamic personalities to highlight the threat to Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem and to deny that there was a Jewish connection to "Holy Sanctuary," the term commonly used in the Palestinian media to describe the Temple Mount area. The Islamic celebrities included Mufti Sheikh Ikrema Sabry and Sheikh Ibrahim Nimr Darwish, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel (or as "the head of the Islamic Movement inside the Green Line" as V.O.P. continually identified him).

Several of the guests and the V.O.P. anchorman reiterated that there was never any Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

"Most of the research shows that there was no never a Jewish temple in Jerusalem," declared Sheikh Darwish. (V.O.P. 1:52 p.m.)

Elsewhere in the program and during V.O.P. and PBC coverage, the Jewish temple in Jerusalem is constantly called "al-heikal al-maz'oum: "the alleged temple" or "the so-called temple."

Jerusalem daily Al-Quds also featured the clashes near the Temple Mount at the top of its front page, showing a picture of tear gas exploding near demonstrators, 18 of whom were wounded according to the paper. A similar picture and coverage are featured in Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda.

Meanwhile, Al-Quds reported also an 86-percent participation rate of registered Palestinian voters in last week's local elections. On the bottom half of the page, the Jerusalem daily reported that Israeli Prime Minister Sharon had delayed the withdrawal from Gaza until August 15, while also headlining the comments by Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom that Israel would not withdraw if HAMAS won the Palestinian national elections in July. These comments were also reported on repeatedly on V.O.P. radio and PBC tv (May 10 various times).

The PA media continue to refer to the Israeli government as "the Tel Aviv government" and to its prime minister as "the Tel Aviv prime minister"-a kind of habitual usage that was rare during the period of Yasser Arafat, but which has become a daily affairs in the last two months of the four-month-old regime of Mahmoud Abbas. For example: "A spokesman for the Tel Aviv prime minister Ariel Sharon said he had decided not release the 400 Palestinian prisoners and arrestees." (Samah Massar, V.O.P. radio anchorwoman, May 9, 7:05 a.m. morning news round-up.)

In their cartoons, the Palestinian papers cover the Jerusalem issue and the issue of prisoners.

Al-Quds cartoon Tuesday May 10 shows handcuffed Palestinian woman demonstrator joining 400 Palstinian prisoners who, according to Palestinian Authority, were supposed to be released without condition by Israel according to agreements reached at the February summit in Sharm al-Sheikh.
[Al-Quds print and adobe edition, May 10, 2005]

Al-Quds internet cartoon shows gigantic Israeli footprints stepping on Palestinian worshipper at Temple Mount. The caption reads: "Defense of Jerusalem."

Palestinian Television: Morning broadcasts concentrated on the trip to South America of PA-PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Afternoon broadcasts mentioned the trip but then concentrated on the issues of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugee rights. PLO Executive Committee Member Zakaria Agha was featured for five minutes stressing that the issue of the right of refugees "to return to their homes" was the heart of the Palestinian cause and that no peace was possible without fulfilling this requirement. (The PLO Executive is the 13-15-man body that is the highest governing institution in the PLO.)

"Dr. Zakaria Agha Member of the PLO Executive and the Chairman of the Department of Refugee Affairs asserted that the subject of the refugees and their right to return to their homes from which they were thrown out in 1948 . . . is the heart of the Palestinian cause," asserted the narrator.

Agha's comments came during a Gaza press conference to mark the 57th anniversary of what the Palestinians call "Al-Nakba": the Catastrophe, the founding of Israel and the beginning of the Palestinian refugee problem.

"This is a matter of prime importance to the Palestinian people and to the Palestinian leadership, and it is the heart of the Palestinian cause."

Saying that he was sending a message on behalf of the entire Palestinian people, he stressed a literal interpretation of the right of return by Palestinians to their homes in 1948 as being consistent with UN resolutions.

"There can be no peace in this area and no peace agreement without the right of return," he concluded. (PBC 3:18-3:23 p.m.)

PA Prime Minister warns Israel over 'threats' to al-Aqsa

Jerusalem, May 11
The Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmad Qreia warned Wednesday that continuing Israeli threats to Islamic holy places would lead to a regional conflagration.

Qreia's comments were addressed to the PA cabinet meeting, but they were widely covered in the PA's official media, overshadowing a softer message issued abroad by PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas calling for living alongside Israel after it met all Palestinian demands.

"Prime Minister Ahmad Qreia told the cabinet that continued Israeli threats to Al-Aqsa are going to lead to an explosion," official Palestinian television reported Wednesday afternoon.

The tough tone of Prime Minister Qreia (who is also known by his nickname Abu 'Ala) was sandwiched with several other firm messages to Israel, and one warning to HAMAS not to make verbal attacks on PA officials:

  • Earlier Wednesday morning, PBC television ran a four-minute music video film montage depicting blind-folded and bound Palestinian prisoners being mistreated by Israeli jailers;
  • Palestinian television also demonstratively repeated again today , at least three times, the broadcast of remarks by PLO Executive member Zakaria Agha that the Palestinians would not make peace without fulfillment of the Palestinian refugees' demands to "return to the homes from which they were evicted" in 1948;
  • Both Palestinian television and Voice of Palestine (V.O.P.) radio issued warnings to the HAMAS movement about attacking Interior Minister Nasser Youssef, hinting at Hamas insinuations of corruption and voter fraud against the PA and the Fatah movement of Abbas and Qreia.

Fatah has been taken aback by its relatively narrow victory in local elections last week, and Abbas's PA has delayed publishing official results, hinting that it thinks there may have been fraud. But Hamas has retorted that the PA and Fatah controlled the elections and that they may be trying to juggle the results.

"The Interior Ministry strongly condemns the communiqué of the Hamas movement," V.O.P. radio announced.

Meanwhile, Palestinian newspapers such as Al-Quds followed the lead of the PA broadcast media in reporting Abbas's message, delivered at a Latino-Arab summit in Brazil, that he was ready for "a just peace" involving "living alongside Israel" after it had withdrawn from all territory conquered in 1967.

Dr. Abbas also criticized Israel for delaying the Gaza withdrawal for three weeks because of Jewish religious observances.

Abbas used the term "ta'ayyush"-meaning living in mutual respect-which has been relatively rarely used in the official Palestinian lexicon. This was the second time in two months that Abbas, making speeches abroad has delivered a message with a softer tone than generally used inside the Palestinian-controlled territories.

In his February meetings, with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, respectively, Abbas used softer language, once even criticizing "suicide operations" (Arabic: 'amaliyyat intikhariyya)-a term almost never heard in the lexicon of the regimes of Abbas or Yasser Arafat.

On the home front, Abbas has been keeping the issue of Palestinian prisoners in the forefront of public opinion, asserting that the PA is demanding the release of all Palestinian prisoners and convicted terrorists, beginning with a group of 400.

Israel has already released 500 of 900 convicts it promised to release, and several of them were then caught in renewed terror activity, according to Israel. This fact and other continued Palestinian rocket and attempted suicide bomb attacks have convinced the Israeli government to halt prisoner releases.

For Abbas, however, the prisoner question is a winning issue and a unifying factor that can help him in upcoming national elections, and it is not surprising to see PA television and Palestinian newspapers like Al-Quds devoting films and cartoons to the issue.

Al-Quds cartoon showing prisoner files in chains, symbolic of the issue of prisoner release that is important for PLO/PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda offers a two-pronged cartoon concerning the Sharon decision to delay the withdrawal from Gaza. The cartoon shows Sharon having a nightmare in which Hamas's late leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin appears and says with a smile: "Now give me one reason to delay the withdrawal." This is a heavy hint that Hamas may re-start human bomb attacks, which Hamas says are the real reason Israel is withdrawing from Gaza.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, May 11, 2005

PLO leaders calls Israeli foreign minister 'undemocratic' and cite Israeli 'interference in internal affairs' as Palestinians call for Israeli Arab demonstrations

Jerusalem-May 12
The official Palestinian broadcast media repeatedly beamed today comments by PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas in which he condemned Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom as "undemocratic" because he warned that Israel would be foolish to withdraw from Gaza if the Hamas terror group won elections there.

"I heard the statement by the Israeli foreign minister where he says "we will not carry out withdrawal in Gaza and the West Bank if Hamas wins the elections," asserted Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

"I think that is an undemocratic statement, a statement by someone who does not believe in democracy," declared Dr. Abbas, who succeeded Yasser Arafat as head of both the PLO and the Palestinian Authority (PA) following elections in which he was the only candidate who received front page treatment and prime time coverage in the Palestinian media.

Dr. Abbas studied history and other subjects at Damascus University and at the Patrice Lumumba University run by the Soviet KGB in Moscow, where he completed a doctorate in the early 1980's about secret ties between the Nazis and the leadership of the Zionist movement.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian media for the second consecutive day published several quotations from Deputy Palestinian Prime Minister Nabil Sha'ath in which he criticized Israeli Foreign Minister Shalom for "interference in internal Palestinian affairs."

During the same news cycle, Voice of Palestine (V.O.P.) radio this morning (May 12 -8:15 a.m.) broadcast lengthy news items about planned anti-Israeli demonstrations by Israeli Arabs and Israeli Druze to mark May 15-the fifty-seventh anniversary of Israeli independence, which Palestinians often call "al-nakba": the catastrophe.

Nizar al-Ghul, the V.O.P. anchorman repeatedly broadcast the locations and times of the planned demonstrations in what was clearly an attempt to mobilize anti-Israeli demonstrations among Israel's own citizens.

This is not the first time the official Palestinian media have used this mobilization technique this week.

From Thursday last week through Monday this week, the PA broadcast media programs, which are easily heard inside Jerusalem and other parts of Israel, calling for "the defense of Islamic holy places" against "Israeli attacks" and "invasion by Jewish extremists."

At least six Israeli policemen, including the Jerusalem police commander, as well as 15 Arab demonstrators, were injured in subsequent riotous demonstrations Monday, although there was no Jewish or Israeli invasion of the Islamic shrines, nor any official Israeli protests about Palestinian interference in Israeli internal affairs.

Indeed, the head of Israeli military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, speaking on Israeli radio last week, complimented PLO leader Abbas for his peaceful intentions and for his desire to disarm Islamic terror groups-something that Abbas has pledged-in recent statements and interviews in Arabic--that he will not do.

"Hamas appreciates the stand of the Palestinian leadership in refusing the Israeli demand to seize weapons of the resistance," declared a page-one headline in the Jerusalem Arabic daily Al-Quds today (May 12).

"Resistance operations" is what HAMAS Islamic Jihad, and often the Palestinian Authority itself call Palestinian terror attacks, referring to suicide bombers as "heroic martyrs."

"The Palestinian Authority will not use force to seize the weapons of the Resistance, especially because there is an internal Palestinian agreement" declared Tewfiq Abu-Khousa, a spokesman for the Palestinian Interior Ministry, speaking on Palestinian television (PBC 3:12 p.m.).

Palestinian leader Abbas was one of the moving forces behind yesterday's statement from the Latino-Arab summit conference supporting the legitimacy of "resistance to occupation."

Last week Israeli Sgt. Dan Telesnikov was killed near Tulkarm, a West Bank town where Abbas had assumed responsibility and where he had promised to disarm the Islamic Jihad terror group that carried out a human bomb attack in Tel Aviv on February 25.

The Israeli soldier was killed trying to arrest the armed Islamic Jihad commander, Shafiq 'Awni Abdul-Ghani, who was planning another suicide bomber attack, and who had been allowed to escape a Palestinian jail after being captured on information supplied by Israel.

Abdul-Ghani and another armed Jihad terrorist, were killed in the firefight with Israeli soldiers May 2, and PLO Chairman Abbas called it an act of Israeli aggression.

PA Interior Minister Nasser Youssef met with Islamic Jihad officials in Gaza and also publicly condemned Israel. His remarks were carried on Palestinian radio and television, both of which treated the Jihad commander as a state hero.

Israeli pull-out 'not end of Israeli occcupation in Gaza' asserts PA minister, listing additional demands

Jerusalem, May 12
If and when Israel pulls its citizens out of the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians will not see this as the end of the Israeli occupation of Gaza, asserted the Palestinian official in charge of Gaza affairs, Muhammad Dahlan, whose comments were published today.

"Dahlan: Israel's withdrawal is not end of occupation in the [Gaza] Strip," declared a front-page headline in today's Al-Ayyam newspaper controlled by the Fatah Party of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

"This withdrawal will not be considered the end of the occupation," asserted Dahlan, saying that this was a cardinal precept set forth by Dr. Abbas and the Palestinian leadership which viewed the whole Israeli withdrawal as a unilateral act of questionable legal status.

Dahlan, Civilian Affairs Minister for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and in-charge of overseeing the Palestinian side of the Gaza withdrawal, said Israel will also have to do all of the following to satisfy the Palestinians:

  • turn over to the PA all control over all land entry from Egypt and the Sinai Desert;
  • allow the PA to open sea ports and the international airport in Gaza;
  • and establish a "safe route" or over-land corridor linking Gaza and the West Bank.

Dahlan's comments were made in a meeting with Gaza business and educational leaders, and he told them that most PA officials favored destroying all Israeli buildings left behind because of concern that they might become the source of mass disorder. But he said he personally favored waiting on making such a decision only when it was clearer when and how the withdrawal would take place.

Palestinians unleash anti-Israeli And anti-US messages on eve of Israeli Independence Day and Abbas visit to US

The Palestinian Authority's print and broadcast media launched a broad propaganda attack against Israel and the United States on Friday morning-two days before the May 15 anniversary of the founding of Israel, a date the Palestinians mark as "Al-Nakba": "The Catastrophe."

Coming less than two weeks before Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is set to visit Washington to seek aid and to proclaim his successes in promoting moderation and democracy, the Palestinian propaganda campaign illustrated how, sometimes, it seems that little has changed in the Palestinian media after the death of Yasser Arafat.

The campaign seemed to peak Friday but over the last two weeks and today it has included the following:

  • Systematic accusations from Palestinian officials and the Palestinian media that Israel is planning attacks on Islamic holy sites such as the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount;
  • Charges of Israel using radiation poisoning and new weapons on Palestinian travelers and demonstrators, respectively;
  • Harsh portrayals of Israel and the United States in mosque speeches and the cartoons of newspapers-both controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA); and
  • Glorification of dead or escaped Palestinian terrorists.

"The enemies of Islam are expanding their strange campaign against Islam militarily economically and politically," declared Sheikh Youssef Abu-Sneina, the Palestinian Authority's sermonizer at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"America is using her troops to uproot Islam and [true] belief from the hearts of those imprisoned in her jails," said Abu-Sneina, whose remarks were broadcast on Voice of Palestine radio.

Abu-Sneina accused the Clinton Administration of terrorism against Somalia, while suggesting that the current administration was carrying out terrorism against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

"But has the American policy of raiding succeeded in Somalia and Afghanistan," the militant sheikh asked, lambasting America for assailing Syria as well.

However, the preacher's remarks were only a small dose of propaganda compared to what the Palestinian media have devoted to Israel in the last few days.

"Good morning to Jerusalem and to Palestine two days before the 57th anniversary of the Catastrophe of 1948 when 31 of our towns and villages were obliterated and the founding of what is called Israel," declared Rafat al-Qudra, official Palestinian television's Friday morning host at 9 a.m. Jerusalem time.

"Good morning to the martyr and to the mother of the martyr," Al-Qudra declared as a film montage displayed the decorated body of Palestinian terrorist who was given a state funeral.

For three hours, viewers saw almost non-stop anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish incitement, including a long interview with an armed terrorist who, in April 2002, had holed up with several dozen members of the Fatah "Martyrs Brigade" and "Tanzeem" militias in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

"O listeners," said the narrator, "after a long siege of 39 days without water and electricity and without food, 39 of our sons inside the Bethelehem church were banished from the West Bank-26 to Gaza and 13 to Europe. Today we are hosting one of the banished, Brother Mu'ayyad al-Ganazra. Welcome, and tell us about your three years passed."

"For three years we have been banished… and our history is like the history of our people, banished, expelled…with the Zionist enemy throwing our people off their land," said Al-Ganazra, the young Fatah militia member, his hands folded on the belly of his black turtleneck.

Al-Ganazra and other Fatah members used nuns and priests as human shields in 2002, but today he accused Israel of human rights violations because it would not allow him and other "mub'adeen"-banished persons-to return from Gaza to the West Bank.

Some of the men were also accused of physically abusing the Christian worshipers kept hostage in the church, but Israeli forces did not storm the church for fear of irreparably damaging one of Christianity's holiest places.

As part of a deal negotiated at the time, Israeli soldiers refrained from arresting or killing the terrorists, in return for their leaving the area-either to Gaza or to Europe.

"Remember, at this time Mr. Yasser Arafat was also under siege, and the Occupation was trying to suppress the Intifada and to suppress the Resistance," the Fatah fighter said using the term "resistance" which many Palestinians use to describe attacks on Israelis.

After the interview, behind the host, a film showing the full map of Israel-Palestine appeared on a background of fire as a video images superimposed on the map showed Arabs carrying children and suitcases being replaced by religious Jews wearing skullcaps and beards. "So began the occupation of Palestine," intoned a narrator.

A cartoon in today's Al-Ayyam newspaper, which is run by Abbas's Fatah Party, showed an Israeli soldier with a skull- stuffing a rifle into a baby carriage.

Al-Ayyam, May 13, 2005: Cartoon reads: "In memory of 'The Catastrophe,' a 'New Catastrophe.'

On the weekly show, "Good Morning Jerusalem" (Arabic: Sabah al-Kheir Ya al-Quds ) telephone callers consistently berated Jews in general and the "Jewish enemy" as well as the "American-Israeli conspiracy" against the Arabs, while the show's host thanked them.

After the show was over, Palestinian television turned to Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris, the white robed cleric who led the broadcast prayers at the Sheikh Zayid Sultan al-Nahayyan Mosque in Gaza.

Sheikh Mudeiris, who is a noted supporter of Osama Bin-Laden's Al-Qaeda organization, did not waste time and from the first word of his sermon attacked Jews over the centuries for their "immorality" and "corruption."

In a speech dedicated to "The Catastrophe," Sheikh Mudeiris mixed a traditional Muslim phrase with today's politics.

"Praise be to Allah whom we to praise even for what is hateful, and [praise be to Him] for having made heroes of us to withstand what the Jews have done to us," declared the young rotund, bearded cleric as he clutched his gold-trimmed white robe.

He unleashed scathing charges against "the Jews who the Prophet [Muhammad] warned had killed their prophets, distorted the teachings of their Torah and corrupted their way of life."

Most Jews were treacherous and unreliable, Sheikh Mudeiris said, and the Prophet Muhammad and his follower Abu-Bakr were correct in fighting them and evicting them first from Muhammad's base city of Medina and then from ancient Arabia.

"Israel is a cancer among the Islamic peoples," the sheikh shouted at the crowd kneeling at his feet.

Sheikh Mudeiris said that the Jews would have killed Islam's Prophet Muhammad, just as they had killed their own prophets, if Muhammad had not outmaneuvered them.

Sheikh Mudeiris laid out a historical view in which the Palestinians were the heart of Islam, while the Jews were the heart of Western hostility and resistance to Islam.

"I don't ask you to read the Quran [for this]. I know you read the Quran. …Bur for those who do not. All you have to do is read history. Ask the British what they did with their Jews. In the sixth century (CE/AD), according to the Christian calendar. They were thrown out for 300 years."

"Palestine is the doorway for all the world-between Asia and Europe.

"The Jews are responsible for all dissension on this earth. The Jews are behind the suffering of all peoples.

"Ask the French. They burned their Talmud because of the dissension they [the Jews] stirred there.

"Ask Portugal what it did with the Jews. Ask Tsarist Russia what it did with its Jews who were conspiring to kill the Tsar.

"And don't ask Germany what it did with the Jews. Because it was the Jews who brought Nazism which led to the destruction of the entire world.

"When the Jews burnt the world with their Zionist movement which moved countries to hurt Germany economically, when they moved Russia, Britain, France and Italy, and Germany's anger against the Jews grew strong.

"What happened to the Jews happened to them, and it was one of the worst crimes in history, but it is not as great a crime as what the Jews did to the people of Palestine?!

"And what the Jews are doing today, isn't that a crime. Their use of bulldozers, destroying homes, impoverishing their inhabitants. Is it not a crime to kill our children in the ruins of their houses?" The young charismatic cleric also accused the Jews of idolatry of "corrupting their morality." In previous speeches in recent weeks, he and other mosque speakers on Palestinian television and radio have said that there is an Israeli-American plot against the Arab states, and called for holy war against both Israel and America. In Today's speech, Mudeiris predicted Islam would conquer America and the West but the Jews would be the ones who would resist Islam the most.

Such grandiose charges were symbolized in today's cartoon in Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, a Fatah newspaper completely controlled and funded by the Abbas regime.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, May 13, 2005

The cartoon depicts the Jews, holding an Israeli flag, gaining bloody control over the entire Islamic world from Indonesia to Morocco and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sheikh Mudeiris and other mosque speakers who are paid by the Abbas regime have also promoted the idea that the Israeli government and "Jewish extremists" are plotting together to destroy the silver-domed Al-Aqsa mosque and the golden-tipped Dome of the Rock shrine, even though there has been no evidence of this.

The Palestinian charges led to riots near the Temple Mount Monday this week when hundreds of Arab demonstrators stoned police.

The "independent" daily newspaper Al-Quds, which gets sizable subsidies from the Abbas regime, today and yesterday ran headlines making fun of America's fears of terrorism and assassination as well as gloating over America's casualties in Iraq.

Today's cartoon showed America as a bloodied Viking on the turret of a tank in Iraq, while yesterday's cartoon showed a sweating White House with an innocent advertising plane in over-flight:

The intense anti-Israel campaign of the Abbas regime comes at a time when Abbas himself, according to Palestinian public opinion polls and recent elections, has not translated his succession of Arafat into public acceptance.

Abbas's Fatah Party squeaked out a statistical victory in local elections earlier this month, and it is considering asking to delay the national elections in July.

Members of the Fatah militias as well as HAMAS and Jihad terrorists have openly poked fun at Abbas's statements-usually made in foreign appearances-that he will disarm militia members.

At the same time, however, when speaking in Arabic or in Arab press interviews, Abbas and his top aides have made it clear that they will not "seize weapons" from anyone involved in "resistance," but only from criminals.

"We distinguish between the fighter and the killer, between the resister and the criminal," asserted Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Sha'ath in remarks shown on Palestinian television earlier this month.

May14-16, 2005
The official Palestinian Authority (PA) media concentrated on the 57th anniversary of "Al-Nakba"-The Catastrophe-during its weekend broadcasts sent a series of mixed messages to the Palestinian audience today regarding continuing violence against Israeli targets.

In a special pre-recorded speech, Mahmoud Abbas said on May 15 that "The Catastrophe" was the worst event in modern history. Large portions of the speech were re-broadcast several times Sunday and Monday.

Abbas rejected the idea of Palestinian refugees being resettled in any of the Arab countries. "We have one land, and its name is Palestine."

Palestinian television and radio coverage concentrated on the centrality of the Palestinian refugee problem, stressing that all had the right to "return to the homes from which they were evicted."

"Good morning it is the 57th anniversary of the Nakba, and we reassert the right of return," declared Voice of Palestine anchorman Nizar Al-Ghul, opening up the day's radio broadcasts.

"His Excellency the President Mahmoud Abbas will deliver a pre-recorded speech as part of two events," he continued, "and the National legislature will announce that we are keeping to the principles of the eternal president Yasser Arafat…. And the legislature will discuss the legislation about the Right of Return."

Palestinian newspapers all chimed in with drawings of the symbolic "key" to the house the typical refugee left behind.

Al-Quds ran the following drawing of the symbolic key to the symbolic home of 1948:


Anchorwoman Baha Shami on Voice of Palestine radio added: "The Palestinian Committee for Refugees is demanding that the Legislature make law that will prevent any Palestinian party-official or not-from retreating from the position that the refugees have the right to return to the homes from which they were evicted in 1948."

Al-Ayyam newspaper showed children demonstrating in Tulkarm with huge keys to show their desire to return to their homes:

Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda ran a map of the entire Israel/Palestine with a symbolic key attached:

The PA television viewer was shown film montages as part of news shows and as special features that portrayed news-reel-like "documentary" footage spliced together with other more recent propaganda footage with Arab actors made to look like Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian women, children and elderly.

Elsewhere in his pre-recorded speech, Dr. Abbas stated that there would be no peace with Israel if it continued to build its separation barrier.

Abbas regime media lionizes terrorist as 'martyr,' condemns soldiers for not respecting his body

Jerusalem, May 16
The Palestinian Authority (PA) lionized a Palestinian youth who tried to stab an Israeli soldier at a West Bank roadblock, calling the knife-wielder a "heroic martyr."

At the same time, the Voice of Palestine radio, which is controlled directly by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, condemned Israel for not treating the body of the dead Arab terrorist with greater respect, downplaying his attempt to kill the soldiers.

"The youth Omar Mutih Ashrawi, 22 years old, from "Alaj, north of Tulkarm, was heroically martyred this morning when he was struck by bullets of the Occupation forces concentrated near Tulkarm," declared V.O.P. radio as its lead item (10 a.m.).

"Our correspondent Mu'ein Shadid reports that the body of the martyr continued lying on the ground, as the Occupation forces prevented ambulances from reaching it [the body]," asserted Baha Shami, the V.O.P. radio anchorwoman.

"According to Israeli military sources, the youth tried to attack one of the soldiers with a knife before the soldier fired at him," she added.

Tulkarm has been a tension point in recent weeks after Palestinian leader Abbas had promised Israeli leaders to take control of the area and to disarm wanted terrorists, but Israeli army field commanders have repeatedly said this has not happened.

Indeed, Abbas and his top lieutenants inside the PA and the PLO-Interior Minister Nasser Youssef, Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Sha'ath-have repeatedly told the Palestinian press that he will not try aggressively to "seize weapons" from HAMAS, Islamic Jihad or Fatah members who continue acts of "resistance" aimed at Israel.

Both the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam and Al-Quds ran lead front-page articles Saturday (May 14) in which Abbas declared that he was not going to set off "harb ahaliyya"-civil war-by confronting groups that continue attacks.

Report compiled by Michael Widlanski Associates.
Commissioned by the Center for Near East Policy Research.
Dr. Michael Widlanski teaches political communication and comparative politics at the Rothberg School of Hebrew University. His doctorate, "Palestinian Broadcast Media In the Palestinian State-Building Process: Patterns of Influence and Control," was based on eight years of research involving more than 7,000 hours of monitoring Palestinian radio in Arabic as well as television and newspaper surveys. Widlanski was , a reporter-researcher in the NYTimes Jerusalem bureau, 1980-82, Middle East Correspondent for The Cox Newspapers/Atlanta Constitution/Boston Globe, 1982-89. He has also served as Strategic Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Public Security, editing secret PLO Archives captured in Jerusalem.He has also served as a special advisor to Israeli delegations to peace talks in 1991-1992 and as Strategic Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Public Security, editing secret PLO Archives captured in Jerusalem.

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Wiesenthal Center Calls on Japanese Government to Provide Aid to the Palestinian Authority Based on Elimination of Incitement
And Calls on Abbas to Fire the head of the PBC

Simon Wisenthal Center Press Release

May 17th, 2005

Wiesenthal Center urges Prime Minister Koizumi to link future Palestinian aid to "measurable milestones in dismantling terror and ending incitement

Following Prime Minister's Junichiro Koizumi's meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas which resulted in the promise of $100 million in aid, the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged the Japanese leader to link future aid "to measurable milestones in dismantling terror and ending incitement to violence and antisemitic hatred."

The request by the leading Jewish human rights group comes in wake of a horrific sermon broadcast by the PalestinianTV in whichSheikh Ibrahim Mudairis,from his mosque in Gaza, charged that,"The Jews are the cancer spreading all over the world…The Jews are a virus like AIDS hitting humankind…True, the Germans killed and burnt Jews but the Jews exaggerate the numbers to gain propaganda advantages and sympathy…" The cleric went on to say that God will solve the "Jewish problem" by exterminating them. The current chief of Palestinian Broadcasting Authority was appointed by Mr. Abbas. The Wiesenthal Center has demanded that Abbas remove the new head of the PBC.

In their letter to Prime Minister Koizumi, Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center (respectively) recognized Japan's commitment to furthering peace in the Holy Land. But, they said, "This hate speech exceeds in its blatant antisemitism and Holocaust denial even the hateful sermons preached under Yasser Arafat's reign. Furthermore, it coincided with the civilized world's commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism.

What message does this television broadcast convey to the people of Israel, other than the leave them to wonder whether this is the peace dividend they can look forward to from their new Palestinian partners? On behalf of the Wiesenthal Center's 400,000 constituent families, we urge you to link all future assistance to the PA to measurable milestones in dismantling the infrastructure of terror in the territory it controls and to the Palestinian Authority ending all incitement to violence and antisemitic hatred."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe. For more information, please contact the Wiesenthal Center's Public Relations department, 310-533-9036, or visit

Marcial Lavina
Assistant Director, Public Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Museum of Tolerance
P: 310-772-2455
F: 310-553-4521

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