Late-Breaking News

VOP covered the murder of the man in Gilo in its afternoon programs in a quick sentence saying that Israeli sources reported “the killing of a settler in the colony (musta’mara) of Gilo” (4 p.m.). VOP did not report the satchel charge attack on an Israeli convoy this morning, but it was quick to report on border clash involving an Israeli border patrol.

There was a terse report on the attack on the two Israeli guards at the National Insurance offices in eastern Jerusalem. There was no comment or characterization of the attack — only that they were shot at close range (4pm).

During the 6pm (Monday) news, Marwan Baghrouti, leader of the Fatah-Tanzeem, was interviewed at length. Baghrouti, responding to comment by Israeli chief of staff Shaul Mofaz (that Israel would begin taking military initiatives), threatened to strike out at Israel and to inflict Casualties “beyond any price that Mofaz will be willing to pay.”

Quotes of the Day

“There will be no peace without Jerusalem. Jerusalem is Arab, Muslim and Christian. Jerusalem is the gateway to peace. So says President Arafat….The Islamic peoples reject the Judaization of Jerusalem. (Morning Commentary read by VOP’s senior commentator Youssef al-Kazaz [with background music of a Beethoven symphony], at 9:10am, following morning news)

“The national and Islamic committees consider this crime (i.e. the killing of Palestinians in Jenin) to be the execution of policy under the Israeli war cabinet led by the criminal Ehud Barak (from report of Nasser Abu-Bakr, Jenin, 7:25 am)

7 a.m. Headlines

  • “The intifada enters its second month”
  • “Seven new martyrs and several new wounded”
  • “Israeli Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz advocates an increase in the flow of blood from our people…taking initiative against Palestinian towns and villages”
  • “Occupation forces step up confrontations using tank reinforcements in many locations especially Gaza”
  • “President Yasser Arafat heads to Sharm al-Sheikh today to meet with Egyptian president Husni Mubarak”
  • “Presidential secretary Taib Abdel-Rahim asserts that the Israeli government has been planning its aggression for seven months”


VOP once again escalated the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish tone of its broadcasts in the last 24 hours. References to “the zionist enemy” and “the Jews” are becoming increasingly familiar-and not just from mid-level announcers, but by senior commentators, anchormen and leading officials of the Palestinian Authority itself.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was today labeled “the criminal” (al-mujrim) Ehud Barak during the prime time morning news. This is a very severe escalation on the part of VOP which has usually taken pains during its five-year tenure not to insult personally the current Israeli prime minister (not even Netanyahu).

On the other hand, VOP has for weeks been referring to Ariel Sharon as “the extremist Ariel Sharon” (al-mutatarif), but this kind of reference to rightist Israeli politicians is not new: it happens frequently during times of tension.


VOP continues to use the listing of deaths, funeral parades, heroic wounded as the main frame for its news broadcasts. Underlying this. However, there seems to be a growing concern about an Israeli military escalation as well as the forming of an Israeli government including elements of the Israeli Right. IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz was attacked in this morning’s news shows. VOP continues to want to show Palestinian listeners that the PA isnot alone: it is highlighting aid efforts by Iraq (treatment of wounded) and-slightly less — by Kuwait (which has set up a fund). The PA’s ambassador to the UN-Nasser al Qudwa-spoke at length about the international efforts to set up a “protection force” and an international tribunal to try “Israeli war crimes.”

VOP also continues the strong Islamic/patriotic coloration in its broadcasting — featuring martial music with Islamic and strongly patriotic lyrics — especially right before and right after news broadcasts. Today (Monday), the morning news cycle also featured an appeal to continue the Intifada by Sheikh Ikrema al-Sabry, the Jerusalem Mufti.