Summary and Analysis Beginning with its Thursday night coverage, VOP took a very tepid view of the relaxation of Israeli closures and other measures against the Palestinians. Similarly, despite much ado in the Israeli press about progress in negotiations, VOP broadcast interviews with Palestinian officials who saw little possibility of even achieving an agreed statement of purpose or principles.

VOP also did not broadcast or report any apology by PA Information Minister Yasser Abd Rabbo, who had referred to Ehud Barak and other Israeli officials as war criminals worthy of judgment by a war crimes tribunal. VOP continues to broadcast similar comments by its own broadcasters and reporters regularly-and even more incendiary messages in the Friday mosque addresses which are beamed live at the Palestinian audience.

VOP once again put its emphasis on martyrs and wounded, this time highlighting in Thursday night and Friday reports the Israeli use of gas, which, VOP said, led to the death of one man and the near-suffocation of three children in Jenin.

VOP covered Yasser Araat’s report to the Arab summit foreign minister to the effect that Israel was using illegal heavy weapons on civilian targetrs, including uraniaum-tipped artillery shells and bullets

Morning Headlines 7am/8am/9am:

  • “His Excellency President Yasser Araat asserts Israel using heavy weapons and uranium shells against our cities, in report to Arab summit;
  • The high state court confirms a death sentence by firing squad against Majdi Makawi who gave information to the Israelis which led to the death of Jamal Abdel-Razik and others;
  • The Russian news service says that the Russian defense minister will study the use of uranium in former Yugoslavia during a vist there next month;
  • The United Nations environment director says an investigation may be opened into the use of uranium-enriched weapons by the allies in Iraq in 1991.during their aggression in Iraq.”

1 PM AFTERNOON news round-up and HEADLINES

  • “Masses of our people escort the funeral of the exalted martyr Muhammad Said Hanoun Ghanem at this hour in Jenin;
  • After mosque prayers, crowded mass marches across the homeland in support of the right of the refugees to return to their homes;
  • His Excellency President Yasser Arafat stresses that what the Israeli occupation army has done (to lift closures) to remove part of the siege is NOT sufficient;
  • Minister Yasser Abd-Rabbo says that the National Authority CANNOT accept a declaration of principles;
  • The two sides-Palestinian and Israeli meet last night and say that a great deal separates them from agreement, but agree to meet again.”

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