Summary and Analysis

The Voice of Palestine downplayed the murder of an Israeli woman near the Gaza Airport this morning, first largely ignoring the event and then treating it only as an Israeli claim.

The item was “the Israelis claim a woman was killed near the Rafah terminal this morning,” said the VOP announcer at 11:05 a.m., tacking the “claim” of murder to a much longer item about the Israeli closure of the Gaza Airport -and without mentioning that the woman’s attackers had actually cut through the airport fence and attacked her on airport grounds. Later, the item about the woman (which only appeared at 11 a.m.) was dropped entirely from the newsline-up.

VOP instead emphasized that Israel had closed down the airport without justification, hurting the people of Gaza with this “act of aggression.” This item ran continuously at the top of the news throughout the day.

VOP continues to press hard for an international investigation (in addition to the commission setup by Bill Clinton) as well as an international war crimes tribunal. VOP commentators and reporters now regularly refer to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Army Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz as “war criminals.” Palestinian Authority Justic Minister Freih Abu-Medein even advocated yesterday having Israeli war criminals brought to justice in an Arab capital (suggesting perhaps the kind of Eichmann-like mission by which Israelis brought Adolf Eichmann to Israel for trial from Argentina. Excerpts of Abu-Medein’s comments yesterday appear at the bottom of this report.

As it did earlier this week, VOP continues to lead its news shows with list of martyrs who are often referred to as “stars of the Intifada.”

November 8 Morning Interview of Saeb Erikat by Reem Abu Ghazala: “And now we will look at the diplomatic efforts by the Palestinian Leadership to stop Israeli attacks and to put an end to the Israeli occupation forever. We asked Dr. Saeb Erikat about the trip to the United States of President Yasser Arafat to meet with President Bill Clinton and this is what he said:

Erikat: “President Yasser Arafat will demand an end to Israeli aggression, Israeli sieges, Israeli closures as well as (installing) an international protection force along with the formation of an international tribunal. The international force we are demanding will be not fixed to locations but mobile units along fixed locations and these are the June 4 1967 borders including Holy Jerusalem.”

Detail and Headlines

7 a.m. morning headlines

  • “The masses will accompany today the three martyrs of yesterday who fell before the bullets of the occupation and the terrorism of the settlers-and their names: the child Ahmad Amin Hufash, his age 7 years who was deliberately and criminally killed by a settler, the youth Abdullah Ghanam of Bethelem and Said Abu Hatlah of Rafah;
  • Occupation forces shell with heavy artillery the mosque of Ribah, Beit Jallah, Beit Sahur and the Aida Refugee Camp;
  • President Yasser Arafat heads to Cairo today before his trip to the American capital;
  • The Security Council to discuss Palestinian request for international protection force;
  • The approaching results of the contest for the White House between George Bush and Al Gore;
  • The United States last night officially announced the formation of the fact-finding commission in Palestinian lands since the beginning of the Israeli aggression.

2 p.m. Lead Headline

  • “A fourth martyr was laid to rest a short while ago today with the other stars of the Intifada-and his name Muhammad Nusbah Abu-Ghalib,19 year old, from the workers’ neighborhood in Khan Yunis, who was martyred when occupation bullets struck him straight in the heart”

(Note: This broadcast also highlighted the closure of Gaza airport but made no mention of the murder of the Israeli woman in the airport precincts.)

6 p.m. headlines

  • “Occupation forces escalated their aggression against our innocent people, turning six into and wounding tens more, some gravely;
  • At the same time, occupation forces closed off Palestinian air corridors, while tightening the siege on the entry to the cities, closing the Rafah terminal, and using artillery to shell Eastern Gaza;

(Note: There was no mention of the killing of the Israeli woman in Gaza — either in the headlines or in the news in detail.)

Song of the Day

“Hands, Hands, Hands
Hands, Hands, Hands
The Voice of the Rocks
Above the Voice of the Thieves.
The Eyes cry with yearning,
The small hands hold a stone
Daring the aggressors”

(Opening words of song broadcast as lead-in to morning news round-up, 7 a.m., November 8, 2000)

Bringing War Criminals to Justice

Remarks of Freih Abu-Medein, Palestinian Justice Minister, advocating that the Arab governments set up their own war crimes tribunal and bring Israeli officials to judgment (Voice of Palestine, November 7, 2:45 p.m.)

“We have to take measures, according to international law, against the war criminals. The meaning of that is that even if one of them cannot be judged in Israel, then they can be brought to judgment in an Arab capital as what happened with (name unclear) in Britain. They have to be brought to trial-as what happened in Bosnia and Kosovo.”

“We don’t expect everything to take place like a bolt of lightning, but we, in the situation of continuing aggression against us, we have to find an answer with our brother Arab (government) ministers for all our demands an answer for all the cases of all the generals: (Ariel) Sharon in Sabra and Chatilla and continuing with (current Israeli Chief of Staff Shaul) Mofaz in the current situation who gave instructions to fire at the heads and the eyes (of demonstrators).”

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