Israel Resource Review 2nd November, 2000


Official PA Radio News - the PBC Radio, November 1

VOP reports from the field emphasized with renewed vigor today Israel's alleged use of internationally-banned weapons, underscoring Israel's use of "chemical weapons" (as featured in simultaneous reports from Jenin and Tulkarm)

VOP continues to use a war footing in its broadcasting format-many feature shows have been cancelled, but some have been expanded such as "Ardina Linna" (Our Land Belongs to Us) which focuses on alleged violations committed by Israeli settlers. These alleged violations - including reports of attacks on Arab olive pickers-have become a regular staple of the news shows as well. (Last night, VOP also broadcast that Israel had attacked the Samarian/Jewish community near Nablus.)The morning news show's interview guest was once again the Palestinian minister of health who provided a full hospital report concerning the Palestinian dead and wounded..

Headlines (7 a.m. / 8 a.m.)

  • "Continuation of the Intifada with five new martyrs yesterday;
  • Israel uses artillery and tanks in several locations;
  • The Leadership condemns Israel's escalation and praises the posture of the united masses;

Headlines (4 p.m.)

  • "Occupation forces escalate their military aggression against the Palestinian people as Israeli rockets attack al-Khader while artillery attacks Tulkarm and tanks and armored personnel carriers attack Jenin;
  • Three new martyrs in violent confrontations today;
  • His excellency president Yasser Arafat presses Germany for the sake of the Palestinian cause, and Germany agrees to take patients to its hospitals;
  • Dr. Saeb Erikat goes to New York and Washington to demand an international protection force to safeguard our Palestinian people;
  • Israel continues worldwide campaign to blame Palestinian Authority for escalating the popular Intifada;

Attitude to Violence

Today and over the past three days, there has been a clear attempt by VOP to gloss over or even ignore Israeli civilian casualties.

The continuing shooting incidents at Gilo/Beit Jalla and at Ramallah-Al-Bireh/Psagot (among other locations) are reported as continuing premeditated and unprovoked "wicked" and "criminal" attacks on Palestinian civilians. There is no mention made whatsoever of the involvement of Palestinian military forces (Police Force 17) or the role of other armed units (Fatah Hawks,Tanzeem etc).

As through the first month of this "Al Aqsa Intifada," there has been no official call (from the Palestinian Authority) for restraint on the part of the Palestinian people or even for parents to watch their children closely to make sure they do not get hurt.

Quote of the Day

"Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) says that the popular intifada in Palestinian lands is a clear political message to the world which says 'our people and its leadership will not accept any political solution which does completely satisfy its rights, and it will not accept a decrease in its rights.' And Mr. Abbas continued in an interview with our broadcast service station today that the intifada was a peaceful message that was not using violence, but violence was the Israeli message with tanks and artillery.

The Secretary of the Executive Committee stated that the pollution of the Jerualem Holy Shrine (Haram al-Qudsi al-Sharif, i.e. the Muslim area atop the Temple Mount) by Ariel Sharon was the direct cause of the Intifada during this month and the Israeli procrastinations during negotiations was the indirect cause for this continuing popular Intifada."

(October 31 evening news round-up on VOP)

(NOTE: THE original interview with Mahmoud Abbas, at 2PM was not re-broadcast. The original was not taped by our agency because of a radio frequency collapse on 103.4FM, but other analysts at the Voice of Israel (who apparently listened VOP'S other frequency at 91.5FM) say that the Abbas interview said something slightly different from what was reported by VOP: that the Sharon visit was NOT the main cause of the Intifada. Israeli officials have referred to the original interview.)

It would seem that the subsequent report on VOP was an attempt to put a different "spin" on the embarrassing quotation.

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Official PA Radio News - the PBC Radio, November 2, A.M.

Following the Peres-Arafat Summit

In its prime-time news round-up at 7 a.m., the Voice of Palestine ignored the meeting between Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres last night.

Instead, VOP continued to emphasize military confrontation with Israel inits headlines and interview subjects. VOP continued to extol martyrdom and steadfastness in fighting "Israeli crimes."

VOP chose to emphasize the fact that Israel had held up PA negotiator Saeb Erikat's departure from Jericho to the United States where he is slated to push for an international "protection force."

Erikat,who was the featured morning interview guest declared that he would be pressing for an international tribunal to judge Israeli war criminals.

In a second interview, the PA's Gaza security chief, Muhammad Dahalan, asserted repeatedly that the last few days proved that "Israel failed" to impose its version of the recent Camp David understandings on the Palestinians.

Through the first three hours of programming today, there was no call for Palestinian restraint or for parents to watch their children.

Headlines and Details

During the 8am news summary, the Arafat-Peres meeting was mentioned in one terse sentence in a low item in the morning line-up (see below for details) explaining briefly that the meeting was held to stop Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

In the 9am bulletins in Hebrew, English and French, the Arafat-Peres meeting was the second item in the news line-up and was discussed more prominently, but again in the context of a cessation of Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

9 a.m. Headlines

  • "The masses of our people will give final honors to the six martyrs who fell before the bullets of the occupation forces(tne list of the martyrs);
  • In the confrontations yesterday about 170 citizens were wounded, eight of whom are considered in dangerous condition;
  • Israeli artillery shelling and fire continued through the late hours of the night, including populated areas in Al-Bireh, Beit Jallah, Beit Sahur, Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, al-Khader, the neighborhoods of AbuSneina and Tel Rumeida in Hebron, the Western approaches to Tulkarm.
  • President Yasser Arafat met last night with the Israeli Cooperation and Regional Development Minister Shimon Peres,and the meeting concentrated on stopping Israeli aggression against the sons of our people;
  • Fatah movement secretary Marwan Baghrouti clarified that the National and Islamic forces would NOT call today for a FULL strike in the West Bank and that the strike announced yesterday would encompass only Gaza;
  • Israeli tanks have withdrawn in the approaches of Gaza.
  • Settlers from Talmon which was built on Arab land near Ramallah and al-Bireh prevented citizens from picking olives.
  • Israeli authorities continuing closure of Gaza airport until tonight;
  • The 83rd anniversary of the dastardly Balfour Declaration under which Britain consented to the Zionist movement building a national home in Palestine for the Jews. And this accursed anniversary connects with the battle campaign of popular intifada by our people in defense of their land, their rights and their holy places and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with holy Jerusalem as its capital."

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Official PA Radio News - the PBC Radio, November 2 - P.M.

The Palestinian Authority today broadcast its leadership's tentative, halting and conditional acceptance of a ceasefire "understanding" with Israel under the terms of the Sharm al-Sheikh summit.

The communique, which called for Palestinians to use "peaceful means" to achieve national aims, was broadcast one hour after a car bomb exploded in a crowded Jerusalem market. But there was no mention of the bomb blast on VOP radio (for several hours), nor any clear condemnation of this attack or any earlier violence (except by Israeli forces) at any time during broadcasting today.

"The Palestinian National Authority and the government of Israel reached an understanding for the two sides to implement the understandings of Sharm al-Sheikh as set forth in the statement of President Clinton and the speech of President Mubarrak," the statement began.

It was clear that the communique was both more and less than what many Israeli officials wanted. The PA statement did not speak directly about the need for Palestinian restraint, but it made many demands on Israel, thus leaving potential "escape clauses" for itself if Israel fails to meet all Palestinian conditions.

The communique stressed the Palestinian view that Palestinian compliance was contingent on a withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Palestinian areas-especially Israeli tanks from approaches to Palestinian towns, and it also demanded Israel "restrain settler gangs who have continuously committed crimes against our people."

The PA cabinet communique, which was read at 4pm on Voice of Palestine Radio, actually came more than two hours later than originally expected, and it followed PA President Yasser Arafat's decision to pull back from his original agreement to read the communique himself on both Palestinian television and radio. (According to Israeli officials, Arafat first pulled back from the idea of a tv statement, and he subsequently refused to make any live statement on radio as well.)

Indeed, when the communique was released at 4pm, it followed several hours of halting hints to the communique's content-as released by three close advisors of Arafat: spokesman NabilAbu-Irdeineh, Information Minister Yasser Abd-Rabbo and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nabil 'Amr.

Palestinian execution of the agreement, 'Amr asserted, "is subject to a complete cessation of the aggression against our people."

The PA's communique also included a demand for a restoration of the borders of June 4, 1967, "safeguarding" the Palestinian right of return and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, but its main subject comprised four key paragraphs:

"The Palestinian National Authority and the government of Israel reached an understanding for the two sides to implement the understandings of Sharm al-Sheikh as set forth in the statement of President Clinton and the speech of President Mubarrak . . ."

"The Palestinian leadership always conscious of its desire to abide by mutual obligations will closely observe what the Israeli side carries out, regarding its commitments to withdraw its occupation and its military units from populated areas occupied after September 28, as well as ceasing hostilities against the innocent sons of our people along with the removal of closures . . ."

"The Palestinian leadership sees the Israeli government's ability to restrain settler gangs who have committed crimes against our people as a fundamental element in the cessation of violence and terrorism to which our people have been continuously exposed . . ."

"The Palestinian leadership which always stands by the popular and peaceful nature of the Intifada calls on the masses and the national forces to adhere to its stance, to continue mass demonstrations and expressions while clinging to peaceful means in all proceedings . . ."

After the 4pm news, VOP reverted to what has been its standard fare in the last few weeks: news programs opening with detailsf martyrs' deaths and burials sandwiched between patriotic and Islamic songs with martial melodies. The 5pm news was introduced by a song in which a father sings about his son's death as a martyr. The song, which has been very popular at VOP and on Palestinian state television, is about Muhammad Dura, the young boy shot while caught in the middle of a firefight between Israeli and Palestinian forces in Gaza.

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