Israel Resource Review 31st December, 2000


Official PA radio news - the PBC radio Dec. 29th -'Eid al-Fitr (Feast Ending Ramadan)

Summary and Analysis

VOP featured a fiery mosque speech from Sheikh Youssef Abu Sneina at the Al Aqsa Mosque. (see below) NOTE: This is the same Sheikh Abu Sneina who has been regularly featured on Palestinian State Television during Friday Prayers of Assembly and who, in one such PA-televised mosque speech on September 8, called for slaughtering Jews (Three weeks before Ariel Sharon's controversial visit to Temple Mount/Haram area)

This time Sheikh Abu Sneina rejected any solution for Jerusalem outside of Islam: any settlement involving Israel or even international authorities in any way shape or form would be rejected, he said, in his mosque speech carried live on the Voice of Palestine.

What was most interesting in his speech was his placing of the problem of the Palestinian refugees AHEAD of the problem of Jerusalem.

Sheikh Abu-Sneina said that no Muslim could tolerate any foreign sovereignty anywhere in Jerusalem. Nor would any Muslim tolerate any compromise on the right of return (of Palestinian refugees).

VOP is reporting that the Palestinian Leadership is still considering American ideas and "opinions," as VOP has taken the cue from Yasser Arafat (during comments to the press yesterday) that the American initiative not be called an "initiative" or even "proposals" but "ideas."

Morning Headlines-9:00 a.m.

  • His Excellency President Yasser Arafat says that the Palestinian Leadership will continue to discuss the American opinions and ideas in pursuit of a final peace with Israel;
  • Occupation bulldozers took part in a wide-ranging operation of destruction last night in the lands of citizens in Kufr Aqaba;
  • Occupation authorities arrested our citizens in Sinjil after invading the town at dawn today;
  • Five citizens were wounded in operations by occupation troops and settlers in the villages near Nablus;
  • Occupation authorities have spread their siege on many areas in the wake of the eruption of the blessed intifada, in protest at the explosion that killed several from the Army of Occupation yesterday wounding 16

Afternoon Headlines-1 p.m. News Round-Up

  • "The Palestinian Leadership continues its review and discussion of American opinions and ideas on the peace process;
  • Occupation forces continue their siege of Palestinian lands;
  • American Foreign Ministry (i.e. Department of State) earmarks 80-million dollars in aid for Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian lands;
  • Sharon leads Barak in opinion polls for the upcoming election."

    Friday Mosque Address-'Eid al-Fitr (Feast Ending Ramadan)

    "O Ye, Muslims, know that Eid al-Fitr happily is come upon us and the Islamic Nation and our Islamic Palestinian people, which is striving and struggling with difficult circumstances who know that their own only salvation is with God.

    Fighting Martyrs have not stopped competing among themselves to reach God, Blessings and Praise be heaped on His Exaltedness (i.e. suicide bombers vie with each other for the chance to become a martyr), and the wounded have reached the thousands, and before God and his mercy, our people are standing in their the heroic stance..

    These are difficult days, stressful occurrences requiring deprivation in our efforts, as we operate in martyrdom and purposefulness.united, as one, cohesively against the American-Israeli conspiracy.

    And remember, o Ye Muslims, that victory is assured to those who strive and believe.

    O ye Muslims, regarding the city of Jerusalem, the capital of Islam and the Muslims.home of our Islamic study, land of the revelation and the mystic night journey, and the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque, symbol of our Islamic perseverance, symbol of the dialogue between infidels and believers, between Unity and Partnership (i.e. the differences in belief between pure monotheism as evinced in Islam and other beliefs holding more than one God or Trinity etc), between what is Islam and what is outside Islam, God knows what is taking place in His land.

    Praise be on God that the heart of the Islamic people is with us, and they, wherever they may be, are standing shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim Palestinian people.

    O Ye Muslims, no matter where Zionism moves its military bases or its State of Israel, or its neighborhoods and organizations, it has ailed in its efforts to Judaize the city of Jerusalem and to blur its Islamic character since it seized it in '67-despite all its means, efforts and devices.

    O ye Muslims, all these international commission decisions lead to requiring an international solution, to the internationalization of Jerusalem, to the internationalization of the holy city, and this with the dispatch of an international force of various nationalities to the Jerusalem of the Prince of the Faithful 'Omar (i.e. the Islamic Caliph Omar from the seventh century, who conquered Jerusalem) and the Jerusalem of Sallah-al-Din (Salladin) Al-Ayyubi-and in all this there is a great danger from which we should beware. And we should call on all Arab leaders to reject this idea.

    Our Jerusalem is not open for partition or dissection or sharing or having its ground-sanctified with pure culture and the blood of martyrs-defiled (with foreigners). God protect us: the internationalization of Jerusalem is nothing but occupation in another garb from the Israeli garb. ..All this is a degradation and diminishment of the Islamic quality of Beit al-Maqdas.

    (Note: Beit al-Maqdas is the classical name for Jerusalem in Arabic, derived from the Hebrew term Beit ha-Miqdash, the Hebrew term for the Temple. The more modern term for Jerusalem in modern Arabic is al-Quds).

    But of all the problems we discuss, the (most important is) the right of return for the Palestinian refugees. The problem of the Arab-Israeli conflict is not Jerusalem because Jerusalem represents the dialogue of conviction (between religious points of view), but the case of the return of the refugees is the central case..

    And from this sacred pulpit, we say to the Islamic peoples that the case of the displaced and the refugees is the first priority, the most important case which causes the continuation of strife in the region in the Middle East as a whole..

    And from here we say, too, to all our friends that Al Aqsa and all its grounds-what are underground and those above ground.east or west are Islamic by divine decree..

    So let us say finally that Jerusalem can only exist under Islamic sovereignty, God, His Exaltedness, Willing.

    And there will only be peace with the return of the refugees to their homes."

    NOTE: There was no disclaimer by VOP before or after broadcast, regarding the Palestinian Authority's consent or agreement with the the Sheikh's mosque speech, and the fact that he is often featured on VOP and the televised broadcasts of the PBC.

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    Official PA radio news - the PBC radio Dec. 30-31

    Summary and Analysis

    Officials of the PA took a hard line during VOP broadcasts Saturday and Sunday, explicitly toughening negotiating positions publicly while also promising an intensification of para-military activities against Israelis.

    Prominent hard-liners - e.g., Marwan Barghouti and Farouk Qaddoumi-- were featured throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday on different subjects, but always pushing the continuation of the "intifada" and offering a skeptical view of prospects for any deal with Israel. Barghouti specifically called for escalating attacks on Israel (see Barghouti Saturday interview below, day before Kahane deaths) and threatened reprisals (see Sunday remarks after Thabit death). Barghouti said the Fatah Movement would spur its operational activities for two weeks to mark the official founding of the Fatah (January 1, 1965).

    The thrust of remarks by Qaddoumi and Saeb Erikat was that the Palestinian Authority was not being subjected to Arab pressure to accede to American ideas and that the PA would work through the upcoming Arab summit (now projected for Thursday) to achieve an Arab consensus on American ideas.

    Sunday Morning Headlines-Dec. 31, 8:00 a.m.

    • "In the flurry of diplomatic activity, His Excellency President Yasser Arafat holds talks in the Tunisian capital today with the President of Tunisia Zaid Abdeen Ibn Ali, about the latest aggressions committed against the Palestinian people by Israel and also about the Palestinian view concerning the American ideas and opinions offered recently by the American Administration;
    • Dr. Saeb Erikat, Local Rule Minister, is in Amman today for talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel-Hillal al-Khatib about the latest developments in the Palestinian lands and about the Palestinian view concerning American ideas and opinions; And Dr. Erikat told us in a statement this morning that the American Administration was requiring a response in principle to its ideas before responding to Palestinian questions regarding them. And Dr Erikat said that it was impossible to talk about fateful issues such as the refugees and Jerusalem and security and water and so forth in a pompous way, and that the Palestinian Authority was demanding the American administration clear responses on these matters..And Dr. Erikat denied that the Palestinian Authority had been subjected to pressures from any Arab parties..;
    • Mr. Farouk Qaddoumi, the head of the PLO Political Department asserts that the American ideas do not differ markedly from the ideas offered at Camp David;
    • Israeli broadcasts say this morning that one settler was killed not far from the settlement of Ofra built on our citizens' lands, and one report from the French news agency says that the settler was Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, son of the extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane;
    • Israeli occupation forces continued their aggression against the sons of our people in a variety of districts in the homeland, strengthening the closure on several cities, towns and (refugee) camps, involving 18 citizens in injuries in Gaza and Rafah.;
    • A special Papal representative from His Holiness Pope John Paul II will reach His Excellency President Yasser Arafat tomorrow..;
    • Iraqi Health Ministry Director Zuheir Sa'id announced the dispatch of an Iraqi medical team to Amman-the fourth of its kind-- to help wounded from the Intifada in Jordanian hospitals.sent by direction of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to help those hurt in the Intifada;
    • Saudi Regent Prince Abdullah Ibb Abdel-Aziz said that it was incumbent to execute the dispatch of an international protection force for protecting the Palestinian people.;

    Sunday Afternoon-1 p.m.
    (headlines added or changed since the morning newsreel)

    • "The Palestinian Authority puts responsibility on Israel for the assassination Dr. Thabit Thabit, Fatah secretary in Tulkarm
    • Marwan Barghouti said the people would avenge the act of assassination."

    Saturday Morning Headlines, Dec. 30

    • "Masses in Gaza will accompany today the exalted martyr Mahmoud Ali Nseir, 26 years old, who was martyred when the security forces were subjected to Israeli artillery fire in the Beit Hanoun Crossing Point.;
    • The Leadership again renewed its demand to implement decisions of international legitimacy (i.e. resolutions 242, 338 and 194) in connection with the occupied Palestinian lands, saying we will cling to every grain of our land and to the right of return for the refugees to their homes. The Leadership, in a statement issued after its weekly meeting in Gaza last night, said there could be no solution whatsoever in which our people and our Leadership retreat under military pressure, forsaking in a humiliating way even one grain of our holy land, our Jerusalem and our holy places-Christian and Islamic. The Leadership declared that it clings completely to the right of return for the refugees to their homes and residences according to Resolution 194. The Leadership said it was patiently trying to get out of the present situation--replete with siege and aggression-in the negotiations...It said the Israeli positions were the same positions as in Camp David..The Leadership declared its willingness to enter serious and final talks under international aegis without a fixed and short timetable based on international legitimacy;
    • Nabil Abu-Irdeineh, President Yasser Arafat's advisor, said the Palestinians would not accept any agreement that did not safeguard complete Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem and the holy Jerusalem Shrine (Haram al-Sharif);
    • The National and Islamic forces and units of the PLO expressed their confidence in President Yasser Arafat and the Leadership's stance of refusal to the American proposals in their present form.It stressed the necessity of continuing the Intifada until occupation is defeated and independence flourishes."

    Interview with Fatah Secretary, Marwan Barghouti
    7:45 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30:

    Q: "What is the stance of the Fatah movement regarding the American proposals?"

    A: "It is a clear position which the Fatah movement has enunciated, and that is that any proposal, unless it is based on the core Palestinian principles, will not be accepted by the Fatah Movement. .Any proposal and any agreement must be based on complete Palestinian Arab sovereignty on the city of Jerusalem and the Right of Return for the Palestinian refugees to their homes and residences according to Resolution 194, as well as the removal and termination of the settlements and the return to the June 4, 1967 borders. (Anything Else) will not be acceptable and refused conmpletely by the Palestinian people and not just by the Fatah Movement.

    And in this sphere we are completely as one with the President, Yasser Arafat who expressed his complete refusal to the American proposals which are nothing but Israeli ideas."

    Q: "What do you say about Israeli statements refusing Palestinian sovereignty over Haram al-Sharif?"

    A: "Barak is not serious when he talks about peace and about seeking agreement. The only thing that moves him is winning the election, and not (also: rather than) executing the peace process. The other thin is that the national rights of the Palestinians do not figure in his time frame-neither for Barak nor for anyone else (i.e. the other Israeli candidate). Therefore, we believe without Arab sovereignty not only over Al Aqsa but over the city of Jerusalem in its entirety as being part of the Palestinian Arab lands captured in '67, there will be no success for any agreement or for any peace. And it would be wise for the rulers from Tel Aviv (i.e. the Israeli government) to understand the winds of history and the message of this Intifada and resign themselves to the firm rights of the Palestinian people. Without them there will be no peace, no security and no stability in this region."

    Q: "What is the future program of the Fatah Movement (on the occasion of its 36th anniversary)?"

    A: "We during these days will commemorate and reinforce the martyrdom of the heroes of our movement, who struggled and strove in heroism, who fell in heroic operations, and we send our good health and greetings to the prisoners and to its Leadership and its commanders, its members, and its formations and to its wounded and to all its strivers and to all its institutions.above all to the Brother, the President, the Leader, Abu Amar (nickname of Arafat). And we are armed with our blessed intifada which will terminate the Israeli occupation. And the year 2001 will be the year of independence and the year of Return and the year of sovereignty.."

    Q: "Any special programs or celebrations?"

    A: "Fatah movement will celebrate in its own special way, in the way of struggle (i.e. operations), and there will operations that will be unleashed tomorrow, Sunday, the 31st, and a popular march through the communities of the Homeland in various towns, villages and cities..

    And on the first of the first (January 1) all the Palestinian lands and prefectures will see military marches and demonstrations, and the coming two weeks will be days of escalation and Fatah rage against the Occupation."

    Coverage of Terror

    The deaths of two Israelis-Binyamin Kahane and his wife-was covered quite differently than the death of Fatah Secretary in Tulkarm Thabit Thabit:

    • In the former, there was no mention made of the fact that an entire civilian family was attacked--father and mother killed, five children wounded, one gravely. VOP did not report the fact that the passengers were children ranging in age from two months to ten years. There was no condemnation of the attack. Rather, Kahane was called a settler from Ofra (incorrect) which VOP stressed was a settlement built on citizens' lands (also incorrect, since Ofra was built on public state lands, not privately owned). In addition, VOP emphasized in several of its broadcasts that Binyamin Kahane was the sone of the "extremist rabbi" Meir Kahane (not mentioning that he, too, was murdered, by an Arab assassin in New York);
    • In the latter death, VOP carried PA condemnations of the "assassination policy" of Israel, not mentioning that Thabit Thabit, as Fatah secretary of Tulkarm, had had a strong hand in planning and executing attacks on Israeli settlers and civilian vehicles

    Quotes from Interview with Ziad Abu-Ziad, PA Jerusalem Minister
    Sunday (7:40 a.m.)

    "The Wailing Wall-what is the Burak Wall-is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque. The American ideas are nothing but Israeli ideas. The American ideas are nothing but Israeli ideas in American cloaking. We are thinking not only of the Palestinians who are here now, but also the Palestinians who will be here in the future-the refugees."

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