Media Blog

Palestinians Pay Tribute to Saddam Hussein One Year after Hanging

Agence France Presse reports from the West Bank:

Some 700 Palestinians observed a minute’s silence on Monday as they marked the first anniversary of the hanging of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
… Holding Saddam portraits and gripping Iraqi and Palestinian flags, rally participants recited poems praising the dictator who was hanged on December 30, 2006 in Iraq after a court sentenced him to death for his role in the slaughter of tens of thousands of ethnic Kurds in 1988.

In spite of the AFP story, very few mainstream media outlets mentioned this Palestinian show of solidarity. And hardly any have reported the ongoing Fatah-Hamas intra-Palestinian fighting in Gaza, which on Monday and Tuesday alone resulted in eight Palestinians being shot dead (including a 10-year-old boy) and 30 being wounded. Both Hamas and Fatah are continuing to buy ever more sophisticated weapons using the international aid money given to the Palestinian Authority by Western states.
Israeli-Palestinian deaths down, thanks to security barrier
While the number of Palestinians killed by Israel dropped 43% in 2007 to the lowest number since the second intifada began, the overall number of Palestinians killed in 2007 reached a record high because of the 344 Palestinians killed in the internecine conflict, the human rights group B’Tselem said in its year-end report.
The report also found a significant drop in the proportion of Palestinian civilians killed, with the vast majority of those dying in 2007 being militants. The number of Israeli civilians killed last year in Palestinian terror attacks was also greatly down, further proof that Israel’s security barrier and checkpoints are working.
But Fatah still killing Israelis At the same time, Israel has expressed anger that the murderers of two young Israeli hikers last Friday belonged to President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, and had been armed by them. Western media regularly refer to Fatah as a “moderate” organization.
Fatah activists said the attack was “to celebrate Fatah’s 43rd anniversary this week,” and that the attackers, they explained, were apparently hoping to send a message to the Palestinian public that, contrary to claims by Hamas, Fatah has not abandoned “the path of armed struggle.” They added that the $9 billion just pledged to the Palestinians over the next three years by the international community would come in handy in this regard.

Tom Gross — Tom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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