VOP switched its focus today from alleged atrocities against children (yesterday’s charges and countercharges regarding bicycle bomber and attack on school bus, among others) and back to more generic descriptions of dead martyrs and their funerals and lists of wounded, interspersed with feverish reporting from local battle scenes. Late Thursday night (Oct 26) VOP also began refutations of published reports that foreign governments were aiding Christian Arabs seeking to flee scenes of fighting. This line of reporting carried over into Oct. 27 programming, apparently a sign that the Palestinian Authority is increasingly concerned that reports of injured or fleeing Christians will hurt the PA in the eyes of the Christian world.

Similarly, there is evidence the PA is concerned that official American opinion is turning against the Palestinians, as shown by the Congressional vote which the VOP (Oct 26night reports) characterized “as one-sided decisions casting blame on the Palestinians.” Today and yesterday there was more muted criticism of the Clinton Administration itself for tilting in Israel’s favor.

Headlines (excerpts)–October 27 (7 a.m./8 a.m.)

7 a.m.

  • Bay Othman Mahfouz, four years old, will be buried today;
  • Israeli occupation forces shell houses in Tulkarm;
  • Churches deny charges made in Jerusalem Post that Christians being forced out by Muslims (charges published three days ago) and say Christians and Muslims are united in struggle;
  • Israeli settlers attack olive pickers in Nablus;
  • President Arafat holds late-night meeting in office and calls on national figures to examine their actions;
  • Iraq affirms it will push for Islamic Conference to discuss Palestinian question.

8 a.m.

  • Burial of baby Othman al-Mahfouz injured two weeks ago
  • Abdel-Qadir killed in Halhoul
  • Heavy Israeli shelling in Halhoul and Tulkarm, 115 injured
  • Condemnation of Congress’s recent decision
  • Israeli occupation police spread out inoccupied Jerusalemto prevent entry of worshippers


VOP is regularly using the terms “the enemy” and “the zionist enemy” in references to Israel. Even the term “Israel” itself is becoming rarer, replaced often by the term “the occupiers” (“al-muhtaleen”)

Song of the Day

(lead-in to 8 am morning news round-up)
Watani Ya Haifa wa-Yaffa
(My homeland, O Haifa and Jaffa)
Min Jib ila Jib
(From side to side, [coast to coast])
Watani min Tulkarm ila Jalil
(My homeland from Tulkarm to the Galilee)