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Friday, 2 August, 2002, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Arab press lambasts Jenin report
Jenin rubble yields picture of grandfather killed in 1967 war
Has the UN dug the truth out of the rubble of Jenin?
The publication of the UN report into Jenin splits the press in the Middle East with Israeli papers welcoming its rejection of Palestinian allegations that a massacre took place and the Arab press condemning the report.

An opinion piece in Hamodi'a, which supports the ultra-Orthodox Agudat Yisra'el movement, says the overall tone of the report is "fair to Israel, albeit not totally balanced".

The UN report had disproved the assertions that Israeli troops had "murdered, decimated and slaughtered" the Arabs of Jenin, the paper says.


It will not restore to Israel the many points lost in the court of international public opinion

Hamodi'a

However, Hamodi'a says, "the report comes too late".

"It will not rectify the distortions. It will not restore to Israel the many points lost in the court of international public opinion after the publication of Palestinian lies about an alleged massacre."

The report was prepared without Israel's agreement, proving wrong those who said Israel was making a big mistake in refusing to co-operate with the investigation, the article continues.

Officials in Jerusalem were expecting a far more critical report, the commentator says, and the UN was "far more decent than we expected"


In the reciprocal massacres it is useless to try to establish who started first. It is like trying to establish which came first: The chicken or the egg

Al-Arab al-Yawm

The conservative Jerusalem Post reports that Israel's mission to the UN "declared the report a victory" after "Israel was effectively cleared" of massacre charges.

In the Arab world, the media rejects the report, saying it reflects a clear bias towards Israel.

The Palestinian daily Al-Hayah al-Jadidah calls it "The Black Report", accusing the UN of being partisan "from day one".

The UN has given Israel a free hand to do whatever it wants, the daily laments.

Damascus radio accuses the report of "not revealing the truth about the massacres", while the Syrian daily Al-Thawrah says it "is devoid of any accurate description of the crimes against humanity that actually took place".


The latest fruit of the international humiliation of the Arabs

Al-Safir

Another Syrian daily, Al-Ba'th, lambasts the report as "an extension of the UN secretary general's wishy-washy stands on the invasion of the Palestinian territories" and "a continuation of the personal efforts he has been exerting to prevent Israel from being accused of committing a war crime".

A columnist in another Jordanian paper, Al-Arab al-Yawm, calls for an international force to stop the killings on both sides.

Jamil al-Nimri writes: "In the reciprocal massacres between the Palestinians and the Israelis, it is useless to try to establish who started first. It is like trying to establish which came first: The chicken or the egg."

In Lebanon, the chief editor of Al-Safir describes the UN report as "the latest fruit of the international humiliation of the Arabs"

He says it falsified the facts, "almost accusing the Palestinians of destroying the refugee huts over their own heads and then killing each other to obstruct the progress of the Israeli peace march!"

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.

See also:

01 Aug 02 | Middle East
01 Aug 02 | Middle East
01 Aug 02 | Middle East
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