Israel Resource Review 11th Febuary, 2001


Official PA radio news - P.B.C. V.O.P. (Voice of Palestine) Radio, February 9-10

Summary and Analysis

Throughout its newscasts on Friday and Saturday, the Voice Of Palestine-unlike the Voice of Israel-made no mention whatsoever of any contacts between Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon. It certainly did not report any friendly conversations-as was reported on the Voice of Israel radio news between Israeli and Palestinian leaders

On the contrary, V.O.P. published calls from the "national and Islamic forces" to launch major demonstrations and parades in support of an unfettered right of return by refugees to their homes.

Friday Afternoon Round-up Headlines February 9-4 p.m.

  • Three citizens wounded seriously in Gaza by Occupation bullets;
  • Tens of citizens wounded in El-Bireh;
  • The (Palestinian) National Authority says that any ideas to move forward the peace process must be based on international legitimacy;
  • The Human Rights investigating commission begins its investigation into Israeli violations in Palestinian lands, tomorrow, Saturday;
  • Ariel Sharon says he wants to achieve a non-belligerency pact with the (Palestinian) National Authority;
  • Demonstrations in Iran calling for freedom lead to 20 casualties;
  • Demonstrations in Indonesia calling for resignation of Wahid."

Saturday Morning February 10- 8 a.m. Headlines

  • "Presidential advisor Nabil Abu-Irdeineh says Israel must accept principle of land for peace in order to get security and in order for talks to proceed from point where they left off. Without this, he said, there would be no progress in the peace process;
  • The oversight commission of the Arab summit continues its deliberations in Amman today on the foreign minister level;
  • The United Nations commission of inquiry begins its investigation today-first in Ramallah, then in Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah and Beit Jallah;
  • Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon has invited the Labor Party to participate in a unity government. He met with defeated prime minister Ehud Barak and they reviewed political and security subjects.;
  • The Security Council is discussing continuation of sanctions against Libya in the wake of the Lockerbie verdict;
  • A spokesman for the American Navy admitted that it had sunk a Japanese ship yesterday near Honolulu, with 10 people missing."

Toward the end of the news cycle on Friday afternoon's news programs, V.O.P. began to make note of the American and Israeli announcements that the Clinton proposals were a dead letter.

From Friday mid-day through Saturday night, V.O.P. concentrated on what it called severe Israeli shelling in Khan Yunis and Hebron Thursday night (Note: exactly why it took more than 10 hours to report the overnight shelling is unclear). There was no V.O.P. mention of a PA artillery shell having been fired at an Israeli settlement in Gaza (Israeli reports said Netzarim), although there was a V.O.P. report of "a big explosion" in the settlement of Kfar Darom.

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Official PA radio news - P.B.C. V.O.P. (Voice of Palestine) Radio, February 11th

Summary and Analysis

Voice of Palestine opened its Sunday noon news program with news that a special military court had sentenced a Palestinian to death by firing squad for working with Israel. An execution date was not announced, apparently because the condemned man, Muhammad Hassan Musalem, still has the right of appeal to President Yasser Arafat.

In addition, in one of its Sunday interviews, V.O.P. featured PLO Executive member Assad Abdul-Rahman who spoke of attaining refugee rights not only for Palestinians but also for Israeli Arabs displaced in 1948. This little-known feature of Palestinian ideology has not really intruded on the public debate, but the V.O.P. interview was a signal that the Palestinian Authority is not only not pulling back on its refugee demands, it is actually escalating them to include Israeli citizens, which IT (the PA) intends to represent in talks with Israel.

Instead of contacts between Arafat and Sharon (such as Yediot Aharonot and Kol Yisrael talking about Arafat's greetings to Sharon's new grandchildren), V.O.P. emphasized the contacts between Sharon and Ehud Barak to form a national unity government which Palestinian commentators said would not help Palestinian interests.

Rather than friendly contacts with Israel, V.O.P. is telling the Palestinian audience that the Palestinian leadership is doing everything it can to put pressure on Israel:

  • Making efforts to keep the Intifada going and even to escalate with the help of increased Arab aid;
  • Working hard to get the Mitchell Commission and the UN Human Rights Commission to condemn Israel and to cal for an international force to be placed in defense of Palestinians;
  • Pressing for a renewed Arab boycott of Israel.

Sunday Morning Round-up Headlines, February 11

  • The continuing confrontations and the attacks by the occupation forces go on, wounding a number of our citizens by the bullets of the occupation soldiers;
  • In Amman the meeting continues of the Oversight Committee (foreign ministers) of the Arab League summit in Cairo, discussing executing the decisions of the summit concerning the Intifada and the changes in the region and the changes in the American Administration as well as Sharon's rise to power;
  • And in this news period we will take an in-depth look at the formation of the new government led by Ariel Sharon."

Morning Headlines 7 a.m. / 8 a.m. / 9 a.m.

  • A large explosion in Kfar Darom, which was built on lands taken from Dir al-Balah, followed by a major exchange of fire and the occupation forces close the roads between north and south Gaza;
  • Occupation forces continue their aggression against our people in most of the prefectures;
  • His Excellency President Yasser Arafat received the United Nations investigating commission in his headquarters in Gaza last night asking it to proceed quickly to stop the continuing aggression against our people and our lands.
  • Occupation forces extended their aggression against our people as Occupation special forces arrested the two brothers Rami and Jihad Awad al-Dik from Hawara near Nablus after opening fire on them and wounding them;
  • A farmer was wounded when he entered his lands and was fired upon by an Israeli settler in Turmos Aya in the Ramallah prefecture, along with confrontations in Kufr Malik in the prefecture under live fire and the use of gas canisters designed to cause tears (i.e. tear gas grenades);
  • In Hebron, two citizens were wounded in the Qarantina area, and in Gaza three citizens were injured near the Mintar crossing point and were taken to Shefaa Hospital for treatment;
  • Israeli forces endangered people in 22 residences in Khan Yunis in preparation of their demolition today, and the occupation authorities threatened to demolish the homes.;
  • The residents of Al-Khader in the Bethlehem district were subjected to severe Israeli shelling last night resulting in injuries;
  • His Excellency President Yasser Arafat discusses with Terry Larsen, the special representative of the United Nations Secretary General, the latest political developments in the region and the difficult events enveloping our people;
  • His Excellency called on the UN's investigating commission visiting Palestine to redouble its efforts into investigating the Israeli violations of the rights of our citizens. The head of the commission criticized Israel for lack of cooperation with the commission;
  • The Oversight Commission of the Arab League summit began its deliberations in Amman last night;
  • Farouk al-Qaddoumi, the head of the political department of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, said the commission would discuss ways for continuing support for the Intifada of our people;
  • Dr. Nabil Sha'ath, Minister of International Economic Development said the Palestinian Leadership would ask the summit meeting to develop an effective economic boycott of Sharon should he continue with his extreme policy against the Palestinian people;
  • The Jordanian monarch King Abdullah II called on the Israeli prime minister-elect Sharon to continue negotiations with the (Palestinian) National Authority from the point it left off with the Barak Government.
  • Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa calls on the Arabs for solidarity and for boycotting Israel in response the stern (also hard-line or unrelenting or severe) position held by Israeli prime minister Sharon (Note: they left out 'elect') to the peace process;
  • The Israeli Labor Party says it will respond today to the Likud proposals for a unity government headed by Ariel Sharon, and sources in the Likud say Sharon aims to achieve a unity government in two weeks.

Quotes from Interview with Dr. Assad Abdul-Rahman, member of PLO Executive, participating in Human Rights forum in Rabat Morocco, 7:20 a.m.

"The Palestinian refugees got special attention (at the forum) inasmuch as they constitute 70-percent of the Palestinian people, and therefore we cannot discuss what may happen to the Palestinian people without addressing this broad political question . . . and the rights of the refugees cannot be discussed except through a position of principle and in the context of human rights, and this follows also from resolution 194 (the resolution referring to refugees' rights to return home) . . . There is also discussion that resolution 194 is not enough. for example, we found that many of the groups (in the conference) did not know about situation of the displaced persons inside the '48 areas (Note: "'48 areas" is a reference to Israel, referring to "internal refugees," i.e. Arabs who were displaced from one Israeli-ruled area to another Israeli-ruled area) and that's a third of a million or two hundred fifty thousand . . ."

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