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Sunday, 29 July, 2001, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Arab press angry at Jerusalem violence
Protesters on at the Dome of the Rock
Arab media sided with the protesters
Media reaction to the events at the Aqsa mosque compound was swift. Even as Israeli police moved against stone-throwing demonstrators, the Palestinian media provided their listeners and viewers with live, on-the-spot coverage.

Ramallah Voice of Palestine, the official radio of the Palestinian authority, had started the day by playing patriotic songs devoted to Jerusalem.

As the Israelis fired tear gas and stun grenades, the radio went live to its reporter at the compound, who spoke of an "extremely tense" situation.


There are many casualties...First aid units are treating the injured

Voice of Palestine
"There are many casualities who have been moved inside the al-Aqsa mosque", he said. Then he added on a crackly line, "First aid units are treating the injured".

The radio then switched to a live phone-in programme to allow callers to air their feelings. Some were moved to recite poems praising the importance of Jerusalem for Arabs and Muslims.

The Palestine Satellite Channel broadcast television footage of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. A live 90-minute talk-show brought together Muslim and Christian clerics. The show also included phone-calls from viewers.

This was followed by a patriotic song played over images of the intifada, or uprising.

Syria: 'serious provocation'

Official condemnation of the Israeli actions began to appear soon after these reports. In Syria, the government-owned newspaper Al-Thawrah carried a commentary on its website headlined "A serious provocation".


An attempt to destroy (the Arabs') clear cultural identity in occupied Jerusalem

Al-Thawrah
The paper said "the Israeli leaders led by the terrorist Ariel Sharon are indulging in racist aggression".

"Their insolent treatment of the cultural heritage of the Arab nation and Islamic world is an attempt to destroy their clear cultural identity in occupied Jerusalem."

Al-Thawrah concluded: "This expansionist scheme is bound to make the situation more volatile and dissipate all the remaining hopes of reviving the peace process."

Egypt: 'international observers'

The Egyptian state-owned newspaper Al-Jumhuriyah called in an editorial for international observers to be sent to the "occupied Palestinian territories".


The fact is that Israel does not want peace

Egyptian Radio
This would "create a positive atmosphere...and make it possible to...reduce the violence and enable both parties to resume peace talks", the paper said.

"The international community should shoulder its responsibility, as Egypt has requested, in order to prevent any further deterioration of the situation in the Middle East", Al-Jumhuriyah argued.

A commentary on Egyptian radio said: "The fact...is that Israel does not want peace and will not continue the peace process".

Iraq: appeal to UN

Iraqi TV broadcast a statement from the foreign ministry which appealed to the United Nations to "put an end to the Zionist actions against the Islamic holy places".

The statement accused Israel of wanting to "entrench the Zionist occupation of the Palestinian Arab territories and escalate the repressive measures against the steadfast Palestinian people".


Israel shows disdain for the sentiments of the Arab nation and Muslims in the world

Iraqi TV
The TV said the attempt to lay the cornerstone "clearly shows the extent of this deformed entity's disdain for international law, charters and norms, as well as for the sentiments of the Arab nation and Muslims in the world."

Kuwait: 'dangerous escalation'

The Kuwaiti cabinet said it regarded the events in Jerusalem with "concern and dismay". The official news agency said the cabinet "condemns strongly this dangerous escalation and the inherent provocation".

It called the attempt to lay the cornerstone "a flagrant challenge to Muslim sentiments and blatant aggression against Islamic sanctities".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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