PA’s Arabic media hail bombers as ‘martyrs’

By WND Staff

While President Yasser Arafat and his government officially condemned the twin terrorist attacks in Israel that murdered 14 people, the Palestinian Authority’s Arabic-language media hailed the two perpetrators as “martyrs.”

The headline story in the Palestinian Authority newspaper Al Hayat Al Jadida yesterday said “16 people were killed in an attack on 2 Israeli buses [Tuesday] in Beer Sheba, in addition to the executers of the double action achieving Shahada,” which means “holy martyrdom.”

Reaching Shahada is regarded in Islamic teaching as the supreme achievement, granting the greatest rewards in the afterlife and a place of honor in paradise near Muhammad and the prophets, notes Palestinian Media Watch, or PMW, which translated the reports.

PMW says on Tuesday the three Arabic-language TV news reports — which run between 20 minutes and half an hour — did not mention the terrorist attack, while the English-language news, targeting foreign audiences and the international media, report it along with the official PA condemnations.

While the PA condemned the attacks in English, it did so not on moral grounds, but because the violence harmed the “national interest.” The PA also, consistent with its policy, did not condemn the terrorists.

The official statement said: “The leadership reiterated the Palestinian clear stands against any aggression on Palestinian and Israeli civilians alike, emphasizing that the Palestinian national interests require not to harm civilians in order not to give Israel the pretexts to continue its military aggression against the Palestinian people and their holy sites.”

Yesterday’s Palestinian Authority television Arabic news reports finally mentioned the attack and the condemnations, but again explained it was not in the “national interest to harm civilians in order not to give Israel the pretexts to continue its military aggression against the Palestinian people.”