Israel Resource Review 5th December, 2000


Radio News - the PBC Radio, December 5th

Summary and Analysis

Behind the headlines and the rhetoric, it appears that VOP is working hard to keep the martial spirit alive among Palestinians whose commitment to fight may be sagging. For the last two weeks, there has been an attempt to inflate casualty figures and to keep alive week-old stories of martyrs and wounded, recycling the material through several days of news cycles.

It is also apparent in the last two weeks, but particularly since Nov. 30, that VOP has further exaggerated its rhetoric and introduced items of very questionable authenticity in an effort to rekindle mass activities, for example:

  • Broadcasting shortly before mosque prayers on Friday December 2 that Israel was using dogs against Palestinians, including an attempt to introduce dogs into the holy shrines of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif;
  • Reports about attacks on women prisoners;
  • Deliberately exaggerated accounts of atrocities and attempted massacres, replete with gory bodily descriptions.

VOP has at the same time been very conscious of the growing economic and physical strains of the conflict. It has not reported what the Israeli media are reporting-that the Barak Government has decided to allow the entry into Israel of 16,000 Palestinian workers daily. It may be that VOP has better information than the Israeli media about Barak Government policies (which has happened more than once), but it also may be that such a report would go against the grain of VOP policy: to show the Palestinians as victims of continuing Israeli aggression on both the military and economic fronts.

VOP reported that PA Health Minister Dr. Riyad al-Zaanoun said there were officially 269 martyrs in Al-Aqsa Intifada along with the addition of another 50 who had not yet been officially registered for various reasons. He told a press conference that there were 6,869 wounded Palestinians as of last night in Gaza, with another 4,760 in Jerusalem and the West Bank. (Ed. Note: the figures were a bit contradictory because PA narrator Samir Interr, who seemed to get mixed up in the middle of the casualty count, also read a second casualty figure of 4,615 for Gaza, leaving a discrepancy. Interr also quoted a figure of 5,890 Palestinians wounded by gas, and it was not clear if this was part of the previous total or another new category. He made it clear that there were 1,604 casualties "inside the Green Line." This in itself is symbolically very interesting because it again shows that the PA has come to regard Israeli Arabs as part of its community.)

The VOP went to great lengths in its morning news round-up to underscore Yasser Arafat's denial of any secret contacts with Israel (a story that has been widely circulated among the Israeli media). Arafat's own denial was supported by a detailed accounting of his recent itinerary and a specific quotation from him that his last meeting with any Israeli official was the prominent meeting with Shimon Peres several weeks ago.

Quote of the Day

"Of the casualties, 40 percent were under the age of 18, and 60 percent were over the age of 18. Head wounds were 18 percent. Stomach wounds were 20 percent. Chest wounds 20 percent. And in the four limbs 44 percent." (PA narrator Samir Interr, citing PA Health Ministry summary of the Al Aqsa/Independence Intifada [tr: Intiadat al-Aqsa wa Intifadat al-Istiqlal])

Quotes from Interview with Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Yasser Arafat:

"The reality is that there are no secret talks with Israel. All these reports are unfounded.

Question: What are our conditions for talks with Israel?

Answer: First of all agreements exist, and these agreements bind Israel. The interim stage of talks is over, and we are now in the stage of final status, which Israel has evaded with its confrontations. The Arab, international and Palestinian positions cling to international legitimacy..But we are dealing with Israeli obstinacy.And that has plunged the region into the throes of instability. The present Israeli government has struck at all the agreements. The return to peace is dependent on Israel executing its agreements, on international legitimacy and the equation of land for peace. The thing that can accomplish this is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

Morning Headlines

  • "Heavy Israeli artillery attacks on populated areas of Ramallah, Al-Bireh, Jenin and Bethlehem;
  • Settlers concentrated in the colony of Giloh firing their weapons on citizens in 'Aida Camp and Beit Jallah, and three citizens were wounded as a result of the evil shelling;
  • The martyring yesterday of Awad Salah Silmi, 27 years old, from the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza. Citizens found the martyr's body ripped apart, smeared and cast behind the cement factory near the Mintaar Crossing Point in Gaza;
  • Settlers and occupation soldiers continued attacks without reason at various points in Gaza and near Qalqilya, wounding five citizens;
  • Israeli forces moved tanks and artillery at Kufr Dik and Burqeen near Sulfit;
  • President Yasser Arafat denies any diplomatic meetings with Israel;
  • Occupation soldiers from what is known as 'the border patrol' invaded the Shatta Prison last night to attack women prisoners and to transfer several of them. In a message sent by the prisoners to the Palestinian News Service, they said the occupation forces had used all kinds of chemical means against them, also striking them with clubs;
  • This is only part of the escalations taken by Israeli prison authorities during the blessed month of Ramadan."

Notable and Noteworthy

"What the 'Independence Intifada' has made it clear is that there can be no peace with the settlements . . ." (PA morning news show host, Samir Interr)

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