There has been a fundamental change in the broadcast content and tone of VOP in the last 24 hours. President Yasser Arafat and VOP have communicated their complete support for the Fatah and Tanzeem units-and their actions, too. The shift in attitude and tone actually preceded by several hours Israeli missile strikes against Fatah and Tanzeem targets, (see quotes below).

Similarly, Arafat and VOP have removed the remaining bits of ambiguity regarding their support for violent actions. Arafat’s top advisors have begun speaking openly about “the Zionist enemy,” “the Jews,”the Israeli military government” and “the criminal Ehud Barak” in their references to Israeli leaders and forces.

One of the leaders of Fatah-Tanzeem, Marwan Baghrouti was featured on afternoon and evening interview shows several hours before the Israeli attacks on Fatah positions, (see below).

Detail, Commentary and Headlines

7 a.m. / 8 a.m./ 9 a.m.

General Introductory Commentary
“A campaign of raids and military attacks by Israeli forces against the Fatah offices in al-Bireh, a security installation in Nablus, Khan Yunis and Rafah. The leadership places complete responsibility for the attacks on Israel and says our people are steadfast and ready to continue through the crisisinthe struggle for freedom and independence. The Leadership asserts that this dastardly attack followed Barak’s political speech in the Knesset and reflects his aggression.”


  • “Israeli attacks on Fatah offices and dwellings in al-Bireh and Nablus”
  • “About 100 wounded in Israeli aggression against our people”


  • “President Yasser Arafat says that the Israeli bombardment will not cause even a tremble of the eyelash of a Palestinian child”
  • “Occupation forces close down Gaza International Airport”

4 p.m.

  • “Confrontations renewed in Gaza, Hebron and Ramallah while eight martyrs are buried”
  • “Israeli guard struck in Jerusalem, and settler found dead near colony of Gilo”
  • “President Arafat in Egypt says our people will continue battling Israeli aggression”

News details

Report of attack on Israeli border patrol in Gaza.

Report also included an on-air interview of Arafat in report by ‘Adil Za’nun, in which Arafat responded to alleged threats by Israeli Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz against Fatah and Tanzeem units. Arafat said: “The Fatah movement is part of the Palestinian people, and it has been burned by the tanks along with the Palestinian people”. Arafat further said that no force would be able to negate the Palestinian people’s defense of its land and its holy sites-sites holy to Islam and to Christianity. Similarly, VOP aired a lengthy interview with Marwan Baghrouti, head of the Tanzeem (see below) in which he issued a counter-threat to Mofaz

Interview with Yasser Abd-Rabbo, PA Minister of Culture

“We believe that the (upcoming) Islamic summit will reiterate and concentrate on supporting the Palestinian position in Jerusalem and its holy places in Jerusalem, and the sovereignty of the Palestinians in Jerusalem in its entirety, being that it contains holy places toIslamand Christianity.”
(Oct. 31, 4:15 pm)

“We don’t expect everything in one day.But we are confident that the Arab nation will not forget its word and will be steadfast with the Palestinian struggle. We are counting on this (keeping of) word in the future struggle for our independence.”

Reporting Elements

Field reports are stressing the alleged Israeli use of internationally-banned weapons such as dum-dum bullets, which according to the reports, have been deliberately aimed at civilian targets inside Palestinian towns.

Quote of the Day

“This government of Barak’s-this military government-is trying to force a military solution on the Palestinian people. To use the force of arms to make the Palestinian people accept Israeli demands which are: not withdrawing from Palestinian lands, not removing settlements, and Judaizing Jerusalem.Barak who cried about peace in the Knesset two days ago has dipped his hands into the spilled blood of the Palestinian people.”
(PA Cabinet Secretary Ahmad Abdul-Rahman, prime time morning interview, Oct. 31)

Attitude to Reconciliation or Negotiation with Israel (Baghruti)

“I think that the statement of Israeli chief of Staff Mofaz shows that the Israelis have made a political decision, with all its danger, to continue evil, terroristic Israeli aggression against our people with an increased use of tanks, use of artillery and opening fire against our people combined with sophisticated use of blockades.I think the decision to threaten to strike Fatah and Tanzeem and their elements is a political decision to strike at the Intifada. If Mofaz tries to carry out his threat we will make sure he pays a price he cannot afford.”
(Marwan Baghrouti, 4:45 p.m., Oct. 31)

Other Quotes of the Day

“This thing (Israeli military action) will not cause a trembling of even an eyelash on any Palestinian child.”
(Yasser Arafat in interview with VOP morning Oct. 31, repeated throughout day)

“The national and Islamic forces feel that this crime (casualties in Jenin)come from the criminal Israeli government and the occupation army that shelled Jenin all night.”
(report of Nasser Abu-Bakr 4:30pm, Oct. 31)

“Any Israeli escalation will be matched by our blessed Intifada. The Israelis who have failed with their closures are moving to a new level of aggression against our cities.”
(Ahmad Abdul-Rahman, PA Cabinet secretary in morning interview)