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Palestinian Propaganda Encouraging Children to Join in Fight Against Israel

America’s NBC aired a feature on the indoctrination of Palestinian children, using research provided by PMW. Following the transcript is a press release issued by NBC after the airing of the feature.

TOM BROKAW, anchor:
In the Middle East tonight, the subject: children of war. On a day that a baby girl, killed by the Israelis, was buried, the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon accused Palestinians of deliberately putting their children in the line of fire. Now, as NBC's Martin Fletcher reports, there is a shocking new war of words.
‘Bury me with my baby,’ the father cries. His daughter, Iman, just four months old when she died in her mother’s arms yesterday, killed by shrapnel from an Israeli shell, the youngest victim of seven months of fighting.
[Images of the baby’s funeral and a young girl mourner kissing the dead child]
So far, there have been 121 funerals for Palestinian children here, most killed in the crossfire.
But now the Palestinians are calling on the youngest to join the battle, and using a stunning tactic –commercials on Palestinian TV asking children, “Drop your toys. Pick up rocks.”
[Video shows a child dropping his toy and young boys throwing stones.]
Even using actors to recreate the most famous image of the uprising, one that shocked the world: 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura dying in his father’s arms, caught in a hail of Israeli bullets. The commercial shows Mohammed in paradise, urging other children to quote, “Follow him.”
[The scene of Mohammed al-Dura slumped against his father in a hail of bullets shifts to an image of the boy running through a sunlit field in “paradise” where he then greets other boys who sit together in the green grass.]
AL-DURA’S FATHER (Through translator): I was trying to protect my son.
FLETCHER: His father, Jamaal, was shot eight times, barely survived. Now undergoing surgery in Jordan, NBC News showed him the commercial, which he saw for the very first time. ‘It breaks my heart,’ he said. He believes in peace, but does not believe it’s possible now with this Israeli government. There’s no escape from the war for children here.
At his son Mohammed’s school in Gaza today, the daily prayer and a call to arms.
‘Are you afraid?’ he shouts. ‘No,’ they answer. And then, ‘We ask Allah to destroy the Jews.’
[The scene is of rows of children in a schoolyard shouting in unison.]
More than half the population of Gaza are children under the age of 15. And if you ask any of the boys here what they want to do, they'll answer the same thing: ‘Fight the Israelis.’
Mohammed’s desk is now a shrine.
[Image of Al-Dura’s former classroom which contains a shrine set on a student desk with his photograph, a PLO flag and flowers.]
The teacher asks, ‘Where is Mohammed?’
TEACHER: Paradise!
CHILDREN: Paradise!
FLETCHER: ‘Paradise.’ And in English class, they learned a new phrase today.
TEACHER: The Israeli army killed our friend. Shame on them!
CHILDREN: (In Unison): Shame on them!
FLETCHER: Already, young boys are learning how to fight. Summer camp teaches how to resist the Israelis. But now they are being taught not to fear death.
[Images of young boys in military training, crawling under barbed wire and other drills]
The greatest glory, they are told, is to be a martyr.
Martin Fletcher, NBC News, Gaza.
NBC BULLETIN: NBC-PMW Report Upsets Palestinian Authority, PA Resorts to

Challenging Honesty of NBC & PMW
May 14, 2001
On May 2, a PMW report exposed that the Palestinians were encouraging children to seek death - Martyrdom - on film clips shown on PA TV. After the story was reported in the Israeli media NBC asked PMW for the material and produced their own story.
NBC has now informed PMW that the PA is denying the content and is accusing NBC [and PMW] of irresponsible journalism if not forgery and manipulation. The PA in a press release by the Palestine Media Center is trying to minimize the damage to their reputation by attacking PMW’s integrity and reputation as an internationally respected research organization:
“Mr. Fletcher based his entire news report on material presented to him by the extreme right-wing Israeli propagandist and inciter Itamar Marcus and his propaganda organization called Palestinian Media Watch.” It should be noted that the PA has not challenged even one fact in the PMW report.
PMW has presented NBC with the dates and times of all the broadcasts and other information that verify the integrity of our research.

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