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Abbas dictates content of PA media: Promote terrorists
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Abbas dictates content of PA media: 
Promote terrorists
 
Abbas instructed media to "represent the cause of the Martyrs,
the wounded, and the prisoners"
 
Head of official PA media honored for
"the role the official media plays in serving the Martyrs
and their families and the prisoners and their families"
 
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
 
Palestinian Authority media is controlled by PA Chairman Abbas himself. A statement by the General Supervisor of the Official PA Media Ahmad Assaf who has the rank of minister and was appointed by Abbas demonstrates that Abbas actively involves himself in determining the content of the official PA media:
 
"Assaf expressed his pride that the official media is representing the cause of the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners under the instructions of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, who is constantly reemphasizing that this is our people's most important cause."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 26, 2019]
 
Assaf made this statement in July at a tribute ceremony held at the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation headquarters in Ramallah for "journalists who are members of the official media."
 
Abbas' control over the content of the media is effective. Earlier this month, a Palestinian Martyrs' association honored the head of PA media Ahmad Assaf for doing precisely what Abbas had instructed: "To serve the Martyrs and their families and the prisoners and their families":
 
"Secretary-General of the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat honored General Supervisor of the Official [PA] Media [with the rank of] Minister Ahmad Assaf for the role that the official media plays in serving the Martyrs and their families and the prisoners and their families."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2019]
 
Numerous earlier statements confirming the PA's control of the media have been exposed by Palestinian Media Watch. For example, two officials employed at PA TV explained how they see their role: The director general of PA TV, Khaled Sukkar, explained that PA TV "is not a neutral media outlet; it is a media outlet with a national cause." [Official PA TV News, July 23, 2018] Programs Division Director of official PA TV Nizar Al-Ghoul also stated that PA TV is not merely for entertainment but a central part of the "struggle." He referred to Ahmad Assaf, explaining that he "would follow everything small and large, direct every assignment, and follow the details. He surprises you when he calls you to ask about a tiny detail in some program." [Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Aug. 5, 2018] 




Click to read more about Palestinian media.
 
At the recent ceremony, the head of official PA media, Assaf, sounded like an echo of Abbas when he put emphasis on the priority status of the terrorists in Palestinian society:
 
"The Martyrs are more honorable than all of us, and they and their families and the prisoners and their families constitute a Palestinian red line."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2019]
 
Assaf further referred to "the firm and determined positions of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership," and Abbas' refusal to accept the Palestinian tax money after Israel deducted the salaries to terrorist prisoners. Assaf quoted Abbas' "slogan" about PA policy to put the terrorists first: "Even if we are left with only one penny, it will be the right of the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners."
 
When the head of PA TV who was appointed by Abbas repeats his words verbatim, Abbas does not have to apply coercion to have PA TV be his voice.
 
The following are longer excerpts of the reports cited above:

Headline: "Assaf: We have received the greatest honor from the mothers of the Martyrs and the prisoners"
"General Supervisor of the Official [PA] Media [with the rank of minister] Ahmad Assaf said that 'We have received the greatest honor from the mothers of the Martyrs and the prisoners.' Assaf said this during a tribute ceremony held yesterday [July 25, 2019] at the [Palestine] Broadcasting Corporation headquarters in Ramallah for the journalists who are members of the official media...
Assaf also expressed his pride that the official media is representing the cause of the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners under the instructions of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, who is constantly reemphasizing that this is our people's most important cause."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 26, 2019]

Headline: "The National Association of the Families of the Martyrs [of Palestine] honors Minister Ahmad Assaf"
"Secretary-General of the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat honored General Supervisor of the Official [PA] Media [with the rank of] Minister Ahmad Assaf for the role that the official media plays in serving the Martyrs and their families and the prisoners and their families...
Assaf emphasized that the Martyrs are more honorable than all of us, and that they and their families and the prisoners and their families constitute a Palestinian red line. He noted the firm and determined positions of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership, [which were expressed] when His Honor [President Abbas] refused to accept the Palestinian tax money after the allowances of the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners were deducted from it (refers to the Israeli Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below -Ed.). He pointed out the president's statement: 'Even if we are left with only one penny, it will be the right of the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2019]
 
Ahmad Assaf also holds the positions of Chairman of the Board of the official PA news agency WAFA and General Supervisor of Fatah-run Awdah TV.
 
Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA.
The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018, and its first implementation was approved by Israel's Security Cabinet on Feb. 17, 2019, when it decided to withhold 502,697,000 Israeli shekels (approximately $138 million) from the PA. In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount.
During the initial parliamentary vote in 2018, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: "The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data." [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018]



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