Palestinian journalists pledge loyalty

Palestinian reporters, including some employed by the international media, gathered at the Ramallah Muqata to pledge loyalty to Yasser Arafat by reading speeches and poetry in his honor:

Some 100 Palestinian journalists converged on the presidential headquarters in Ramallah on Tuesday – not to interview Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, but to pledge allegiance to him.

The journalists, who included representatives of international new organizations, did not trouble Arafat with any difficult questions.

Three of the journalists who attended said no one dared to ask Arafat about recent attacks on Palestinian correspondents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Instead, they read poetry and delivered emotional speeches in his honor before they lined up to have their pictures taken alongside their leader.

We’d like to know which Western news services had people in their employ participating.

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