|Israel Resource Review
||13th Febuary, 2001
Official PA Radio News, 13th Febuary, 2001
Assassination Aftermath Bulletin, 2 p.m.
Following the assassination this morning of Mas'oud Ayyad, an officer in
the Palestinian elite unit known as Force 17, V.O.P. reacted with extensive
live local coverage detailed condemnations from the Palestinian Authority.
This included comments from PA spokesman Nabil Abu-Irdeineh that the PA
would not be scared off by such actions and policies by Ariel Sharon and his
advisor Meir Dagan (although neither Sharon nor Dagan are in office yet) and
would respond to them, raising violence to a new level. PA Justice Minister
Freih Abu-Medein said Israel was guilty of "state terrorism."
The Fatah secretary in Gaza said "the Israeli enemy" would not succeed in
dampening the Intifada with its policy of escalations.
V.O.P. said the death of Ayyad was the tenth assassination of a Fatah
commander by Israel during the Intifada.
The V.O.P. coverage featured an unusual 11:02 a.m. live broadcast from
Gaza with its local corespondent 'Adil Za'anoun describing the four missiles
fired by the helicopter-borne Israeli assassination team.
The "martyr" Ayyad, 55 years old, was described as a key Force 17
commander, and V.O.P. relayed part of the Israeli contentions that Ayyad had
been working with Hezbollah (Lebanon) operatives to smuggle heavy weapons
into Gaza and to train Palestinians in their use (but V.O.P. did not report
Israeli contentions that this included at least two mortar attacks on
Netzarim settlement in Gaza).
Summary and Analysis
Escalation: Verbal and Otherwise
For the last three or four days, the Voice Of Palestine has been opening
its news shows with general headlines about Israeli escalations and
heightened confrontations, even when there are no fatalities on the
Palestinian side which could be headlined as "martyrings." (Note: today and
late yesterday, the deaths of two Palestinians allowed V.O.P. to begin its news
shows with a martyr headline rather than a general escalation headline.) At
the same time, as has been customary for V.O.P., there is scant attention being
paid to Israeli fatalities or attacks on Israeli civilians that often touch
off confrontations, which are then covered luridly.
V.O.P. described the Israeli use of tear gas in its news stories today and
yesterday in almost-hysterical terms, today describing the gas as "poison
gas" as well as "a type of nerve gas prohibited by international law."
V.O.P. has been highlighting PA officials-as well as Egyptian Foreign
Minister Amr Musa-contending that there can be no talks with Israel unless
they begin from where they had left off in Taba, with the ideas of
yesterday's leaders: Clinton, Barak, Ben-Ami and Beilin. The tough talk is
also laced with strong hints of threats (see interview below with Nabil
Sha'ath, interviewed yesterday, translated today).
Days of Rage and Preparations For War?
It appears that the heightened V.O.P. rhetoric is meant to prepare (and
perhaps even trigger) the Palestinian public for actual escalation as well
as to make a case before human rights investigations and European
governments for increased intervention on their part at a time when the
Palestinian Authority has been more than disappointed by the statements by
President George Bush, ex-President Bill Clinton and soon-to-be-ex-prime
minister Ehud Barak.
In a very unusual morning commentary by senior V.O.P. commentator Youssef
al-Kazaz, the Palestinian Authority virtually beseeched gunmen not to shoot
from populated neighborhoods and inhabited buildings. This was not a call
for non-violence or for restraint. Rather it was more like an operations
manual to prevent an Israeli reprisal that would hurt civilians. The
almost-plaintive commentary by Kazaz was nearly identitical-but much longer
and repetitive-than a similiar call broadcast on V.O.P. from Marwan Barghouti
on December 31. Then, too, the comment was not a call for non-violence but for
more effective violence. The fact that this time the summons or plea came
from the voice of V.O.P.'s top commentator can mean one or both of the
following-and neither of them good.
Arafat is really preparing for war and preparing his public for war;
Arafat still has a great deal of control but not enough to
prevent wide-spread 'freelance' attacks by PA armed forces and tanzeem,
unless he goes head-to-head with them, risking a serious loss of his
intifada-won popularity rise.
7 a.m. Morning Round-up Headlines
- "The latest Intifada news and (news of) the Israeli aggression
against the sons of our people from our correspondents throughout the homeland;
- Two martyrs in Ramallah and El-Bireh, and a farming ban in Khan
- Occupation forces burn tens of houses near the Tufah roadblock, as
they use gas that induces hysteria;
- His Excellency President Yasser Arafat begins an Arab round (of
talks) to deal with developments after Sharon's victory in the prime
ministerial election in Israel;
- Dr. Nabil Sha'ath visits Saudi Arabia to meet with Saudi Finance Minister;
- The Fatah movement in Bethlehem calls for boycotting Israeli media
because of their lack of reliability;
- Likelihood of forming a national unity government in Israel between
Labor and Likud."
7 a.m. / 8 a.m. / 9 a.m.
- "Israeli aggression continues against the sons of our people leading
to the martyring of two citizens and the wounding of ninety, six of them in
- Israeli shelling on several locations in the homeland… ;
- Occupation forces continue to hold on to the body of the exalted
martyr Atif Ahmad al-Nabulsi, 35 years old;
- His excellency President Yasser Arafat meets Tunisian President Zein
Abdeen Ben-Ali today in Tunis after meeting Egyptian president Husni Mubarak
in Cairo yesterday;
- The Palestinian Authority condemns Israeli aggression against our
people, and the presidential secretary Ta'ib Abdel-Rahim says that the
escalation carried out by the occupation army in Ramallah and Beit Jallah
and Khan Yunis is unprecedented."
(fuller version of headlines to be sent later)
Quotes from Interview with Nabil Sha'ath on current inter-Arab dialogue
(Monday February 12, 7:45 a.m.)
"The important problem for Palestinian public opinion is execution (of
Arab commitments to donate to the Intifada support fund). They have heard
us, but what we desire is execution. That's not the matter. It's not about
an exchange of opinions but a difference of opinion about execution and
framework and why this agreement has not led to a speedy execution. When
the agreement is finished the Palestinian citizen has to feel it-not only in
statements but on the ground."
Question: "What message did the Arabs at the conference send Sharon in connection
with the peace process?"
Answer: "The message was clear, and it was that we link any progress in the
talks with the obligation of Israeli party to the source authority of
Madrid, international resolutions 242, 194 and beside that the agreements
and international memoranda and the exchange of territory for peace. If
Sharon really wants success, then he has to abide by these rules.
And if not, then he will find an Arab nation and Arab governments in
front of him ready to resist any attempt to attack us….And I think Minister
Amr Musa made this point completely."
Return to Contents
the Israel Resource
The Israel Resource Review is brought to you by
the Israel Resource, a media firm based at the Bet Agron Press Center in
Jerusalem, and the Gaza Media Center under the juristdiction of the Palestine
You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.