But Abbas’s call to arms and his anti-Semitic remarks were not reported by most media outlets featuring articles on the Palestinian leader’s address.
“Shooting at your brother is forbidden. Raising rifles against the occupation is our legitimate right, but raising guns against each other is forbidden.
“We should put our internal fighting aside and raise our rifles only against the Israeli occupation,” said Abbas in the speech, which commemorated the 42nd anniversary of the founding of his Fatah party.
Abbas went on to praise the late Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel in March 2004.
During a portion of his speech in which he criticized recent Israeli anti-terror raids in the northern West Bank, Abbas used Koranic verses to exclaim, “The sons of Israel are mentioned as those who are corrupting humanity on earth.”
His remarks were not quoted in any of the hundreds of English-language articles reporting on the speech or by most major Israeli dailies, which featured pieces on their websites about the Fatah commemoration ceremonies.
A widely-circulated Associated Press article, titled “Abbas calls for respect at Fatah rally,” quotes Abbas stating, “Shooting at your brother is forbidden,” but the article stops short of quoting the rest of his sentence in which he recommends Palestinians use their weapons against Israel.
The AP article was featured on such top websites as the WashingtonPost.com and CBSNews.com Articles by other news agencies and local Israeli papers also failed to quote Abbas’s anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks.
Abbas’s statements about using rifles against Israel come after reports last week that the United States, aided by Israel, provided thousands of assault rifles and more than a million rounds of ammunition to militias associated with Abbas’s Fatah party. (See Quick Takes, above.)
Also, according to documents revealed last week, the Bush administration will provide $86.4 million to strengthen security forces loyal to Abbas, including Force 17, Abbas’s security detail, which also serves as de facto police units in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
The pledged aid and the U.S. shipments of rifles and ammunition are meant to bolster Fatah against rival Hamas factions, the Fatah militants said.
Fatah and Hamas have engaged in weeks of deadly firefights since Abbas called for new Palestinian elections in a move widely seen as an attempt to dismantle the Hamas-led PA.