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PA daily: Israel is "hidden snakes whose fangs bite in the darkness" - Pillar of Defense #8
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PMW special report on Operation Pillar of Defense #8

Palestinian Authority responses
to Pillar of Defense
 
Columnists in PA daily:
"Like hidden snakes whose fangs
bite in the darkness, the oppressing invaders
(i.e., Israel) chase after our children"

"Childhood in Palestine [is] subject to killing,
torture and fear of the executioner"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense is being condemned by Palestinian Authority leaders and the official media for a variety of reasons. Some have chosen to demonize Israel as a blood-thirsty state that intentionally targets children. Others have accused Israel of initiating the war for political purposes, either to gain an advantage before Israel's upcoming elections or to prevent the Palestinian UN statehood bid.

A regular columnist in the official PA daily wrote:
"Like hidden snakes whose fangs bite in the darkness, the oppressing invaders (i.e., Israel) chase after our children... They have no shame. They are very happy to be snakes that stick out their tongues and slither with malice, and then attack, thirsty and hungry for human blood and liver."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 19, 2012]

A reporter on PA TV News repeated the allegation that Israel intentionally targets children:
"It seems that targeting children is the identifying mark of [Israel's] repeated air strikes and the continuing Israeli bombings of the Gaza Strip."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 16, 2012]

In the sports pages of the official PA daily, a regular columnist voiced the same opinion, viewing Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense as just another example of everyday life in "Palestine":
"This is what childhood is like in Palestine: it is subject to killing, torture and fear of the executioner."
 
Addressing the head of the Union of European Football Associations Michel Platini in an open letter, he asked:
"Isn't it a disgrace that this entity (i.e., Israel) commits acts like this, while you encourage fair play and honest competition? This is part of the entity's fair play against our children. Isn't it a disgrace that this entity remains a member of UEFA, [the organization] that you preside?"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 19, 2012]

Referring to Israel's "state terror against the Palestinian people" in letters to UN officials, the Palestinian Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour stated:
"Israel - the occupying authority - continues to carry out bombings from the air and fire missiles that intentionally target residential houses and the populated areas all over the Gaza Strip." (emphasis added)
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 19, 2012]

PA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki stated:
"Israel... deems Palestinian blood permissible and destroys what it pleases in the [Gaza] Strip, just as it kills, destroys, confiscates [land], arrests [Palestinians] and builds settlements every day in the West Bank, and in occupied Jerusalem." (emphasis added)
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2012]

In the name of the Palestinian leadership, the Foreign Minister placed "full responsibility on Israel for the consequences of this "assault" and "responsibility on the international community for the continuation and recurrence of these attacks against our beloved [Gaza] Strip. It is the silence of the international community that has encouraged the Israeli occupation to continue these aggressions."

His ministry "demanded of the international community, and particularly the International Quartet, to act immediately to end the aggression against Gaza, place full responsibility on the Israeli government for these crimes and their repercussions on the region and the world, and bring the criminals and murderers to justice in the relevant international courts."

At the same time, the PLO Executive Committee "called for sister Arab states to take whatever measures necessary to end and deter Israeli aggression in Gaza, including a reevaluation of relations with the occupation state, 'because this Israeli government strives to continue this war, to bring about the most widespread destruction in Palestinian territories, and present the world with a new fait accompli.'" (emphasis added)

From the beginning of Israel's air strikes, targeting the terror infrastructure in Gaza, PA Chairman Abbas accused Israel of attempting to derail the PA's diplomatic efforts to become accepted as a non-member at the UN:

"The President [said]: 'Everything Israel is doing is meant to undermine our efforts to go to the UN.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2012]

Meeting with other Arab leaders, Abbas said that the PA "warned that Israel intends to massacre our people." Abbas also warned the PA leadership that any Israeli escalation "will cause more destruction and bloodshed, and will increase the threat against the security and stability of the whole region." He interpreted Israel's "aggressive and unfair war against our people in [the] Gaza [Strip]," as an attempt to "strengthen the rift [between Fatah and Hamas] and deepen the separation between the two parts of the Palestinian homeland and soil," and encouraged "national unity." (emphasis added)

The former head of Hamas' military wing Al-Ja'abari, who was responsible for numerous terror attacks against Israel and who was killed by Israel at the beginning of the operation, was praised by Fatah official and PA daily columnist Yahya Rabah as a "great Jihad fighter" and "heroic":

"Israel is trying yet again to upset the cart with a new bloody round of violence begun with the assassination of [Hamas'] Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades commander, our brother, the great Jihad fighter Ahmed Al-Ja'abari... the heroic Martyr (Shahid) Ahmed Al-Ja'abari, may Allah have mercy on him... We pray that he will be granted mercy and pardon, and that Allah will bring him to His most capacious garden, and that his family be accorded patience and comfort."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 16, 2012]

Fatah’s Revolutionary Council expressed its solidarity and support for the Palestinians in Gaza and “salute[d] ‘the brave resistance of all the factions in the Gaza Strip’”:
“Fatah’s Revolutionary Council said that our [Palestinian] people is united in all its national battles against the occupation… The Council said… that the war against the Gaza Strip is a war against our whole people and its national existence. It [the Council] salutes ‘the brave resistance of all the factions in the Gaza Strip.’”
 
Others have said that Israel's "aggression against Gaza" is only for Israeli election purposes. In a press release, the PLO Executive Committee "stressed that the occupation state's barbaric and bloody aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza... is meant to drag the region into a bloody conflict, to re-shuffle the [political] deck... and take advantage of Palestinian blood in the [upcoming] Israeli elections market." (emphasis added)

Similarly, PLO's Ambassador to Moscow Faed Mustafa stated that "[Israeli] aircraft are attacking our people: our children, our women, and our old people. They are smashing their beds in the Gaza strip," the official PA daily reported. The article continued to describe how the ambassador "also pointed out that this bloody scene repeats itself every time elections are called in Israel."

Along the same lines, PA Minister of Religious Affairs Al-Habbash said that one of Israel's goals with the operation is "to use the Palestinian blood spilled in the streets of Gaza in the Israeli election game."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 16, 2012]

See Palestinian Media Watch's earlier reports on Operation Pillar of Defense:
#1 on Ahmed Al-Ja'abari, head of Hamas' military wing.
#2 on
PA leaders' responses to killing of Al-Ja'abari.
#3 on
Hamas' false information about its success
#4 on Hamas' videos
threatening to resume suicide attacks
#5 on Hamas' videos promising
death to Israeli soldiers
#6 on Hamas using
civilians as human shields
#7 on Hamas attempting to
scare Israelis
 
The following are longer excerpts of the articles cited above:

Op-ed by regular columnist Adli Sadeq
Headline: "The oppressors kill the nightingales"
"Like hidden snakes whose fangs bite in the darkness, the oppressing invaders (i.e., Israel) chase after our children. They throw fire at their tender bodies, while the little ones' hearts full of love pour forth like rivers and see hope through the holes made in the walls by the raids! They have no shame. They are very happy to be snakes that stick out their tongues and slither with malice, and then attack, thirsty and hungry for human blood and liver... The oppressors who kill the nightingales lay the foundations for a war that will last one or two hundred years, while thinking that they are achieving security for themselves. The walls of disgrace and wretchedness in our [Arab] nation are collapsing... we will not remain for long in the cage under siege. Dams, walls, [political] calculations and policies separate us from the flow of a great nation whose rulers - with scarves that became worn from waving the flag of "peace" too much - caused it [the nation] pain and filled it with a sense of wretchedness! ... Salvation will only come when the walls collapse, so that we will stay far away from their alleged "peace." Then the cloud will dissipate along with the smog in it..."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 19, 2012]

PA TV News reporter: "It seems that targeting children is the identifying mark of [Israel's] repeated air strikes and the continuing Israeli bombings of the Gaza Strip."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 16, 2012]

By sports columnist Bader Maki (open letter to the president of UEFA, Michel Platini)
Headline: "To Michel Platini, greetings from Palestine"
"My dear general [Michel Platini], you are currently the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), and the Hebrew entity [Israel] is part of this union. Are you satisfied, my brother Michel, that this entity kills our children in Gaza? ... This is what childhood is like in Palestine: it is subject to killing, torture and fear of the executioner. Isn't it a disgrace that this entity commits acts like this, while you encourage fair play and honest competition? This is part of the entity's fair play against our children. Isn't it a disgrace that this entity remains a member of UEFA, [the organization] that you preside? How can you agree [to the fact] that this entity is above the law? You sow the love of the game and its moral values, and they kill us in the cradle. Michel, you must act so that this entity will not remain in your midst. It is time for this entity to leave [UEFA]... If you follow our news from Gaza, [you can see that] they bombard our infrastructure, our stadiums and our [sports] clubs. They want to eliminate our history, our present and the future of our children... This cursed entity must be kicked out of this sports union that believes in justice and fair play. The blood of [the children] Ahmed Abu Daqqa and his friends will not have been spilled in vain only if national unity is achieved. We must achieve it to honor the souls of our Martyrs (Shahids), especially those of our children who dazzled the world with only stones and RPGs in their hands. The occupier knows them well from the Intifada and Beirut."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 19, 2012]

"The [Palestinian] Ambassador [to the UN,] Riyad Mansour (i.e., the Palestinian Permanent Observer to the UN) sent... letters to the president of the [UN] Security Council, the president of the [UN] General Assembly and the Secretary General of the UN, in which he informed them that Israel - the occupying authority - continues to carry out bombings from the air and fire missiles that intentionally target residential houses and the populated areas all over the Gaza Strip... Ambassador Mansour condemned in the harshest terms the Israeli military attacks and the continuation of the state terror against the Palestinian people. He stressed that many of the victims of this [Israeli] aggression are children, women and elderly Palestinians."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 19, 2012]

"Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki called to convene an emergency Arab Summit as soon as possible in order to take a responsible stand regarding the tragic situation that is recurring in Gaza and that continues in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories. During his speech at the emergency meeting of the Arab foreign ministers this evening [Nov. 17, 2012] in Cairo... he said: 'The new challenge that we are now facing... is that Israel challenges all of us. It has again challenged all of the Arabs without considering their reactions or even [the reactions] of the entire world. It deems Palestinian blood permissible and destroys what it pleases in the [Gaza] Strip, just as it kills, destroys, confiscates [land], arrests [Palestinians] and builds settlements every day in the West Bank, and in occupied Jerusalem. We must show it [Israel] today that we have changed, and that the Arabs do not allow the continuation of this aggression and this occupation... The Palestinian leadership stands with our resolute people in the Gaza Strip. It supports them to the best of its ability, even though these abilities are limited. While it condemns the recent continuing Israeli assault against the Palestinian, his home, his infrastructure, his daily life, his safety and security, it also places full responsibility on Israel for the consequences of this assault. In addition, it places responsibility on the international community for the continuation and recurrence of these attacks against our beloved [Gaza] Strip. It is the silence of the international community that has encouraged the Israeli occupation to continue these aggressions."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2012]

"The Foreign Ministry demanded of the international community, and particularly the International Quartet, to act immediately to end the aggression against Gaza, place full responsibility on the Israeli government for these crimes and their repercussions on the region and the world, and bring the criminals and murderers to justice in the relevant international courts."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2012]

Headline: "They must reevaluate relations with Israel. PLO demands that Arabs call the Security Council to stop the aggression"
"The PLO Executive Committee called for sister Arab states to take whatever measures necessary to end and deter Israeli aggression in Gaza, including a reevaluation of relations with the occupation state, 'because this Israeli government strives to continue this war, to bring about the most widespread destruction in Palestinian territories, and present the world with a new fait accompli.' In a press release yesterday evening (Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012), the Committee stressed that the occupation state's barbaric and bloody aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza - that has resulted in many Martyrs (Shahids) and wounded, first and foremost senior Hamas official Ahmad Ja'abari - is meant to drag the region into a bloody conflict, to re-shuffle the [political] deck, to avert attention from its daily aggressive actions against the Palestinian people, and to intensify [Israeli] settlement activity on the independent Palestinian state's land, and take advantage of Palestinian blood in the [upcoming] Israeli elections market."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 15, 2012]

"The President [Abbas] went on to say: 'Everything Israel is doing is meant to undermine our efforts to go to the UN, and he said: "We are going to the UN on the 29th of this month [November 2012] with the aim of having a vote (Ed: to upgrade Palestinian status to that of a non-member state) - not to submit an application, and nothing will prevent us from doing so.' ... The President noted that he has held discussions with all regional and international Arab bodies, and (he said): 'We warned that Israel intends to massacre our people.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2012]

Excerpt from Abbas' speech at the PA leadership's meeting on Nov. 18, 2012:
"Israel continues its aggression for the fifth day in a row and threatens [to enter] a new phase of escalation of its military operation, something that will cause more destruction and bloodshed, and will increase the threat against the security and stability of the whole region... Through its aggressive and unfair war against our people in [the] Gaza [Strip], Israel is trying to strengthen the rift [between Fatah and Hamas] and deepen the separation between the two parts of the Palestinian homeland and soil. The Palestinian response to this aggression [should] first and foremost [be] to hurry and leave behind [us] the dark rift and restore the national unity... Besides the challenge of the aggression against Gaza, today the Palestinian people is facing additional challenges that are no less dangerous: the Judaization of Jerusalem, the expansion of the settlements and the continuous Israeli threats against the PLO in response to our UN petition [for non-member status]. Today we are all the more in need of Palestinian unity to face these challenges. Therefore today I call to convene an urgent meeting of leaders that will include the brothers, the members of the Executive Committee, the chairman of the National Council, the general secretaries of all the Palestinian factions as well as national Palestinian personalities agreed upon [by all parties] The aim is to discuss ways to face these challenges unified as one within the framework of the PLO the sole and legitimate representative of our people... I bless the multitudes of our people who started to [demonstrate] in the squares here in Jerusalem and in Ramallah, in other parts of the homeland and in the diaspora to show their support for our resolute people in Gaza. I encourage you to continue this blessed peaceful activity and to intensify it to convey to the world a united Palestinian voice calling it [the world] to become involved in order to stop this aggression."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 19, 2012]

Yahya Rabah, member of the Fatah Leadership Committee in Gaza and regular columnist for the official PA daily:
Headline: "Israeli aggression and formulating a new Palestinian position!"
"And so, Israel is trying yet again to upset the cart with a new bloody round of violence begun with the assassination of Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades commander, our brother, the great Jihad fighter Ahmed Al-Ja'abari who in recent years assumed a greater public political role as well -- as became clearly apparent at the Cairo talks among Palestinian factions. The fact that Israel's assassinating him was the first step in this bloody assault is significant in many ways regarding relations within Hamas and regarding the Palestinian state of affairs in general. This is so because the heroic Martyr (Shahid) Ahmed Al-Ja'abari, may Allah have mercy on him, was a levelheaded leader whose strong presence was always welcome throughout the Palestinian arena and in the Gaza Strip, where in particular he had an undisputedly important role in preventing the security forces from bullying, while maintaining good, balanced contacts with them all. We pray that he will be granted mercy and pardon, and that Allah will bring him to His most capacious garden, and that his family be accorded patience and comfort."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 16, 2012]

“Fatah’s Revolutionary Council said that our [Palestinian] people is united in all its national battles against the occupation… The Council said… that the war against the Gaza Strip is a war against our whole people and its national existence. It [the Council] salutes ‘the brave resistance of all the factions in the Gaza Strip.’”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 21, 2012]

"[The Palestinian Student Union] ceremony included a number of speeches, first of which was by the Palestinian Ambassador to Moscow, Faed Mustafa, who noted that the meeting was taking place with the roar of [Israeli] aircraft in the background, aircraft that are attacking our people: Our children, our women, and our old people. They are smashing their beds in the Gaza strip. He also pointed out that this bloody scene repeats itself every time elections are called in Israel."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2012]

PA Minister of Religious Affairs Al-Habbash:
"One of Israel's goals with the operation is to "to use the Palestinian blood spilled in the streets of Gaza in the Israeli election game."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 16, 2012]
 


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