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Palestinian news agency misleads English language readers
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Palestinian news agency misleads
English-language readers

Ma'an alters Fatah military wing's Arabic-language statement for its English website

Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Arabic:
The Islamic nation "is capable of supplying an abundance of new blood... [for] restoring the glory of Islam and the flag of Allah's oneness."
 
Ma'an's translation into English:
"We are ready to sacrifice our lives to bring back peace."
 
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

A few hours ago, Palestinian Media Watch released the statement by the military wing of Fatah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, in reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden, as reported by the independent Palestinian news agency Ma'an. Ma'an later released an English version that hides the Fatah military wing's concluding message about seeking Islamic dominance, and replaces it with a message of  "peace."

The Arabic statement that Ma'an removed said that the Islamic nation is "capable of supplying an abundance of new blood into the arteries of the resistance, and is capable of restoring the glory of Islam and the flag of Allah's oneness." Ma'an translated that into English: "We are ready to sacrifice our lives to bring back peace." In the actual statement in Arabic, the word "peace" did not appear.

The following is the statement as it appears in Ma'an's Arabic and English websites. The bold sections indicate the part that Ma'an misrepresented:

Ma'an in Arabic on the concluding statement of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades:
"We say to the American and Israeli occupier: The [Islamic] nation which produced leaders who changed the course of history through their Jihad and their endurance is a nation that is capable of supplying an abundance of new blood into the arteries of the resistance and is capable of restoring the glory of Islam and the flag of Allah's oneness, Allah willing.'"
[Ma'an Arabic, May 3, 2011]

Ma'an in English on the concluding statement of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades:
"We tell the Israeli and the American occupiers that we have leaders who have changed history with their Jihad and their steadfastness. We are ready to sacrifice our lives to bring back peace."
[Ma'an English, May 3, 2011]

The following is the full release by Ma'an in English:

Al-Aqsa Brigades: Jihad to continue without bin Laden

(Ma'an) -- The Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Brigades mourned Tuesday the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, following his assassination Sunday by American troops in Pakistan.

His death, a statement said, "won't stop our Jihad mission against injustice and occupation," adding doubt over the veracity of claims that the fundamentalist had indeed been killed.

In a statement received by Ma'an the brigades said: "The Islamic nation was shocked with the news that bin Laden had been killed by the non-believers."

He left a generation who follows the education he gave in Jihad, the statement continued."The fighters in Palestine and around the world who have lost their leaders did not stop their mission and will continue in the tutelage of their masters."

Concluding, the statement said "we tell the Israeli and the American occupiers that we have leaders who have changed history with their Jihad and their steadfastness. We are ready to sacrifice our lives to bring back peace."

Palestinian reactions to the announcement that the Al-Qaeda leader had been assassinated were mixed.

Palestinian Authority caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called the event one that increased the chance for peace in the world, while Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh condemned the assassination, calling it an extension of an American foreign policy based on killing.
[Ma'an English, May 3, 2011]


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