In February, HonestReporting documented the media’s failure to describe the close relationship between the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, one of the most deadly Palestinian terrorist organizations, and Yassir Arafat’s ruling Fatah party. While major news outlets regularly claimed mere “loose ties” between the two groups, the overwhelming evidence indicated a strong (and highly troubling) bond.
This problem continues: an AFP wire report on June 13 described the Al Aqsa Brigades as ‘a radical and largely autonomous offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement,’ and AP (June 15) described them as a “violent offshoot of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement.”
But yesterday (June 20), Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei openly acknowledged that the Al Aqsa Brigades are no mere ‘offshoot’. In an interview with the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Qurei said:
“We have clearly declared that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades are part of Fatah… We are committed to them and Fatah bears full responsibility for the group.”
So most media outlets have had it dead wrong for some time. HonestReporting has stated that this is not a mere semantic matter, but rather cuts to the very heart of the conflict:
The close ties that bond the Fatah-led PA to terrorist groups are the fundamental problem that prevents progress toward peaceful reconciliation. The dominant political party in the PA remains a direct sponsor of ongoing terrorism, the ruling politicians and the terrorists are one and the same.
With Qurei’s open admission of a Fatah-Al Aqsa Brigades alliance, any media outlet whose copy continues to deny that alliance is blatantly misrepresenting Palestinian reality. As such, their readership cannot possibly understand the tough line Israel must take with the current PA, which is in clear violation of the road map’s demand for dismantling terrorist organizations? not promoting them from within.
For good measure, Qurei also admitted that Yassir Arafat continues to call all the shots, road map violation #2:
“There is nothing called ‘prime minister’ and ‘interior minister,’” [Qurei] said. “There is a Palestinian establishment called the Palestinian Authority and it is headed by President Yasser Arafat.”
HonestReporting encourages subscribers to monitor your local media for denial of the bond between the ruling Palestinian Fatah party and the Al Aqsa Brigades, labeled by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization, and responsible for 23 major terrorist attacks in the past three years.
Moreover, shouldn’t Qurei’s statement be making headlines? Write to news agencies, urging coverage of the PA’s confirmation that it ‘bears full responsibility’ for the Al Aqsa terror organization:
Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.