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The PA on the terror attacks in Southern Israel that killed 8 Israelis
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The Palestinian Authority on the terror attacks
in Southern Israel that killed 8 Israelis;
and on the Israeli response

 
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

The heads of the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, have not condemned the series of terror attacks in Southern Israel along the Egyptian border last week.

Last Thursday, several Palestinian terrorists armed with rifles and bombs carried out a series of coordinated terror attacks near Eilat killing 6 civilians, a soldier and a security officer, and wounding more than 30. The attacks included shooting at a bus, shooting at two cars, targeting a military patrol with explosives, and a suicide bomber blowing up a bus killing the bus driver and himself.

During the attacks, the Israeli army fought the terrorists, killing seven of them. Israel later responded to the attacks by targeting the leaders of the organization behind the terror attack, the Popular Resistance Committees, killing 5 members of this terror organization and a child in an air strike on Gaza.

Senior PA and Fatah figures, as well as the PA-controlled media, described the terror attack as a "quality operation" and "one of the most successful operations," and condemned Israel's killing of the terrorists who organized the attacks as a "massacre." Some claimed that Israel had played a part in organizing the attack, or that Israel was exploiting it in order to distract the public from internal Israeli crises. It was also stated that the Israelis killed in the attack were soldiers and officers, not civilians.

The following is a compilation of the PA's responses to these events, organized thematically:

Contents:
1. Positive description of the terror attacks: "quality operation", "one of the most successful operations"
2. Israel initiated the attacks and the "massacre" in the Gaza Strip to solve the government's internal problems
3. The Israeli casualties in the series of attacks were not Israeli civilians but "officers and soldiers"
4. Terminology:
The attack: "The Eilat operation" (- not a terror attack)
The terrorists: "armed men"
Israel's response: "a massacre"
5. The cause of the series of terror attacks is the Israeli occupation and the "criminal Israeli policy"
6. The Palestinian casualties - including the terrorists who were killed - are referred to as Martyrs or as having died a Martyr's death
 
____________________________________________________

 
1. Positive description of the terror attacks: "quality operation", "one of the most successful operations"

Headline:
"A great operation, regardless of anything"
By Adli Sadeq, PLO ambassador to India and regular columnist 
"May Allah have mercy upon the Shahids (Martyrs) who fell during Ramadan, those of them who went out to confront the occupation forces (i.e., Israel) and did not return, and those of them who were bombed in the home of Khaled Shaath [commander of unit manufacturing rockets and bombs in the Popular Resistance Committees] and died a Shahid's death... What happened yesterday may be considered one of the most successful infiltration operations, for it is clear that the preparation of the routes for the men to reach their target was done some time ago, took much time, and required great effort. What this means is that this was a quality operation that will be difficult to repeat."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]

"Abu Mujahid, speaker for the Popular Resistance Committees, told Agence France-Presse, as he participated in the funeral procession in Rafah: 'We bless the operation in Eilat and are proud of it, but we do not claim responsibility for it.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 20, 2011]
 

2. Israel initiated the crisis and the "massacre" in Gaza to solve the government's internal problems

"Spokesman for the dismissed Hamas government, Taher Al-Nunu, said: 'The Palestinian government denies the Israeli accusations voiced by [Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud] Barak concerning the operation which took place in Eilat. It emphasizes that the Gaza Strip is not connected to what happened in Eilat.' He added, 'We view these accusations as an attempt to get out of the internal Israeli crisis.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]
 
"Hanan Ashrawi, member of the PLO Executive Committee and head of its Department for Communications, said that the Israeli occupation government is exporting its internal, political and international crises to our defenseless people. [Israel] has escalated its military operations in order to evade the results of the social and economic crisis in Israel, and as a preemptive step prior to the Palestinian appeal to the UN, in order to undermine the attainment of membership by a Palestinian state next month."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 20, 2011]

Interview with Dr. Ahmed Majdalani, member of the PLO Executive Committee:
Majdalani: "We believe that this operation has done a great service for the Netanyahu government, to escape from the internal dead end and on the international political level. It will come as no surprise to us if there will be clear intersection points between whoever carried out the operation and the Israeli government."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 18, 2011]

Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Minister of Religious Affairs, PA TV telephone interview:
"Israel [in its response] is trying to export its crisis... It has found refuge in the situation in which we now find ourselves in the wake of the operation that took place in Eilat; it has found refuge in it. Now it is trying to escalate the crisis through an attack on the Gaza Strip and attacking civilians in Gaza, in order to try to turn the situation around, in an attempt to confound the internal Palestinian scene and the international political scene, thinking that this might be [a possibility for] escaping the realization [of the Palestinian state] at the UN."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 19, 2011]
 
Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the "National Initiative" movement in PA TV telephone interview:
"What we are seeing today, the Israeli aggression, is something planned, and we warned months ago that Israel was planning this sort of aggression... Israel is suffering from a deep internal social crisis, [with] demonstrations of hundreds of thousands every week. It is suffering from a diplomatic and political siege, because of its aggressive and arrogant policy. Israel, as usual, is escaping its crises by blowing up the region and starting wars."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 19, 2011]

Regular columnist Adel Abd Al-Rahman:
"Netanyahu's extremist right-wing government waited for an operation such as this to fall from Heaven in order to change the whole situation of the political game and to try and place responsibility on the Palestinians for the developments that will take place in the next few days: In other words, a military escalation against our Palestinian people in Gaza. In addition, the operation destroyed the largest protest movement in the history of Israel, causing it great damage, while at the same time saving the coalition government of the Zionist extreme right-wing from the gallows."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]

"Abu Mujahid, speaker for the Popular Resistance Committees, told Agence France-Presse, as he participated in the funeral procession in Rafah: 'We bless the operation in Eilat and are proud of it, but we do not claim responsibility for it.' He added: 'The occupation wants to attribute the Eilat operation to the Resistance Committees in an attempt to close the case on and escape from its internal crisis.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 20, 2011]

"The Fatah Palestinian National Liberation Movement said that the Israeli aggression against Rafah, which led to the deaths of six Shahids (Martyrs), is [yet] another chapter in the series of crimes of assassination and targeted [killings] of our people in the besieged [Gaza] Strip. The movement added that the latest aggression is decisive proof that the aim of Netanyahu's government is to draw the region into a great explosion, in order to evade its internal crises. The movement's spokesman, Osama Al-Qawasmi, said in a statement published yesterday by the Commission for Information and Culture, that behind the Israeli aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip there lurk intentions to murder for the sake of murder; and this proves that the occupation army allows [the shedding of] Palestinian blood."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]


3. The Israeli casualties of the series of attacks were not civilians but "officers and soldiers"

 
Regular columnist Adel Abd Al-Rahman:
"Yesterday an operation was carried out close to the Egyptian-Israeli border, near the city of Eilat. It led to the deaths of seven and the injury of approximately 30 officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the 'National Initiative' movement, in PA TV telephone interview:
"Of course, there is the operation which took place in Eilat - that is true. This operation harmed soldiers and people from the Israeli army, and was not directed towards civilians."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 19, 2011]

4. Terminology:
The attack: "The Eilat operation"
The terrorists: "armed men"
Israel's response: "a massacre"
 
"While President Mahmoud Abbas demanded an urgent meeting of the Security Council in order to stop the Israeli attacks in Gaza, the Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, threatened further assassination operations against those who carried out the Eilat operation."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 20, 2011]

Regular columnist Yihya Rabah:
"I believe the Eilat operation includes new details, information and data."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 20, 2011]

Headline: "Armed men kill eight Israelis in Eilat and Israel assassinates 5 senior [personnel] and a child in Gaza... The White House and the European Union condemned the attacks in southern Israel, and did not address the massacre in Rafah"
"Armed men killed eight people in southern Israel yesterday, among them a soldier and a police officer... in three attacks along the border with Egypt. Israel responded with an air strike on Gaza, as a result of which six residents died as Shahids (Martyrs)... Washington and the European Union hurried to condemn the attacks in Eilat in the strongest terms, without addressing the massacre which the occupation carried out in a home in Rafah (i.e., the house in which the leadership of the Popular Resistance Committees was located)."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]


5. The cause of the series of terror attacks is the Israeli occupation and the "criminal Israeli policy"
 
Regular columnist Adel Abd Al-Rahman:
"What happened in Eilat is only the beginning of what is going to happen as a result of the absurd Israeli policy which is hostile to a political agreement, and the American alignment with it. What is going to happen is more serious and more dangerous, because the nations of the region - first and foremost the Palestinian Arab nation - will not agree to the criminal Israeli policy which has led these nations to a dead end. This demands that the world place the main responsibility for the operation in Eilat upon the Israeli apartheid racist state, regardless of who carried it out."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]


6. The Palestinian casualties - including the terrorists who were killed - are referred to as Martyrs or as having died a Martyr's death
 
"Israel responded with an air strike in the Gaza Strip, as a result of which six residents died as Shahids (Martyrs), among them Secretary General of the Popular Resistance Committees, Kamal Al-Nairab, his deputy, and another three members [of the Popular Resistance Committees]."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]

"The Fatah Palestinian National Liberation Movement said that the Israeli aggression against Rafah, which led to the deaths of six Shahids (Martyrs), is [yet] another chapter in the series of crimes of assassination and targeted [killings] of our people in the besieged [Gaza] Strip."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]

Headline: "A great operation, regardless of anything"
By Adli Sadeq, columnist and PLO ambassador to India
"May Allah have mercy upon the Shahids (Martyrs) who fell during Ramadan, those of them who went out to confront the occupation forces (i.e., Israel) and did not return, and those of them who were bombed in the home of Khaled Shaath [commander of unit manufacturing rockets and bombs in the Popular Resistance Committees] and died a Martyr's death... The event did not start with the 'hostile operation' of resistance people who still believe that resistance through shooting is possible right now and not tomorrow; the matter began and continues with Zionist aggression against us in every aspect of our lives. Therefore, the death of a Palestinian at the hands of the occupiers, who still remain upon our land, is the attainment of Shahada (Death for Allah) within this great, bitter and blood-soaked injustice... The number of youths who attacked might be around ten, and at the time of writing this we know that seven of them died as Martyrs. Six died in the home of Khaled Shaath, including the child who died together with his father."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]

PA TV newsreader: "Naturally those who carried out the operation (i.e., the terrorists) engaged the Israeli military forces in battle and those of them who were killed, died as Shahids (Martyrs)."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 19, 2011]

"The Popular Resistance Committees announced that 'it joyfully announces [the wedding] procession of the Shahid commander Samed Abed who died a Martyr's death during the Zionist attack.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 20, 2011]

"Last night, Israeli air force planes attacked the city of Rafah, in southern Gaza Strip. As a result, six residents died a Martyr's death, including a child and four commanders of the Popular Resistance Committees."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 20, 2011]

Regular columnist Adli Sadeq, PLO ambassador to India:
"Of course we have no faith in the Israeli justifications for any bombing, and therefore there is no proof that those who died in Rafah are indeed the people who sent those who carried out the infiltration and shooting operation in the Negev. However, a Palestinian - whether he sets off to infiltrate and have a confrontation or whether he is bombed in his home - is the oppressed victim in this situation, from beginning to end."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2011]


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