Dr. Michael Widlanski, an expert in Arabic, alerted us to the fact that the Voice of Palestine called the men who carried out the attack that left a pregnant mother and her four children dead “an act of heroic martyrdom”. The radio station repeatedly used the term “is tish-had” (heroic martyrdom) and “mustash-hidin” (heroic martyrs) to describe the act committed by “two youths”. After reporting the attackers names the radio repeated that they were heroic martyrs.
The Voice of Palestine referred to the victims of the shooting attack as “five settlers” without mentioning that the attack involved a pregnant women and four children who were first shot at a distance of several yards and then finished off from point blank range.
Yasser Arafat’s PA condemned tonight the attack in Gaza by Israeli helicopters on the Hamas radio station. “This is a cowardly act by a war criminal,” Voice of Palestine quoted a senior Palestinian official.
Michael Widlanski, who teaches at the Hebrew University’s Rothberg School, is a former reporter for The New York Times, The Cox Newspapers, and The Boston Globe. He recently completed his doctorate on the political role of the Palestinian mass media.