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.