The Times, UK
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Thousands of Palestinians celebrated today's terror attacks in the United States, chanting "God is Great" and distributing sweets to passers-by, even as their leader, Yassir Arafat, said he was horrified.
The US Government has become increasingly unpopular in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the past year, with many Palestinians accusing Washington of siding with Israel.
In the West Bank town of Nablus, about 3,000 people poured into the street shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the government targets in Washington.
Demonstrators distributed sweets in a traditional gesture of celebration. Several Palestinian gunmen shot in the air, while other marchers carried Palestinian flags. Nawal Abdel Fatah, 48, wearing a long black dress, threw sweets in the air, saying she was happy because "America is the head of the snake, America always stands by Israel in its war against us".
Palestinians in Lebanon Celebrate Anti-US Attacks
Sept. 11, 2001
Ain-al-Helweh, Lebanon (AFP) - Dozens of Palestinian refugees today fired into the air with joy at news of apparent anti-US terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, AFP correspondents witnessed.
Guerillas in military fatigues from various factions fired assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades into the air in the Ain al-Helweh refugee camp at the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon, one correspondent said.
Camp residents, some still in pyjamas, interrupted afternoon rest to rush down to the streets and fire assault rifles into the air, they said.
At the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Palestinian fighters also went out to the streets as soon as they heard the news from their television sets to fire into the air with joy, an AFP correspondent said.
Palestinians Celebrate Attacks with Gunfire
By Joseph Logan
Sept. 12, 2001
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Palestinians in Lebanon met news of devastating attacks on American targets Tuesday with jubilant gunfire, dancing and cheering, saying Israel's chief backer deserved such a punishment.
"This is the result of American policy. America and Israel are one," one Palestinian gunman said.
"This is the reaction required to confront the American and Israeli arrogance," said Mohamad Hallak, a 40-year-old Palestinian refugee from the southern Rashidiyeh camp in Tyre.
Firing rattled across Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and the West Bank as soon as television stations broke the news, carrying live footage of buildings on fire and collapsing and terrified Americans fleeing the stricken areas.
Jubilant Palestinians took to the streets of refugee camps of Lebanon and the West Bank, waving Palestinian flags and distributing sweets to celebrate the attacks on major U.S. landmarks and government offices.
Some Lebanese shared the joy.
"We're ecstatic. Let America have a taste of what we've tasted," said Ali Mareh, a Lebanese resident of Beirut.
"People are happy. America has always supported terrorism. They see how the innocent Palestinian children are killed and they back the Zionist army that does it. America has never been on the side of justice," said Samir, a Lebanese.
"This is the language that the United States understands and this is the way to stop America from helping the Zionist terrorists who are killing our children, men and women everyday," said Mohamed Rasheed, a Palestinian.
Lebanon is home to some to 360,000 Palestinian refugees. After four generations of exile, many Palestinians feel embittered against the United States for its support of Israel -- a feeling which has grown during the present uprising in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza.
"Today is a feast for the Palestinians. We do not differentiate between America and Israel. America is our prime enemy," added another Palestinian.
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat condemned the attacks which leveled the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and struck the Pentagon in Washington.
Palestinians who have often burned U.S. flags in protests during their 11-month-old uprising against Israeli occupation also celebrated in the streets of Arab East Jerusalem.
"I feel I am in a dream. I never believed that one day the United States would come to pay a price for its support to Israel," said Mustafa, a 24-year-old Palestinian gunman.
Several dozen Palestinian youths gathered in Arab East Jerusalem to celebrate as well, honking out wedding tunes on their car horns. "We are so happy that America was hit. America is against us in supporting Israel," Suleiman, one of the demonstrators, said.
In Nablus, motorists honked their horns and gunmen fired into the air from assault rifles to cheer on the attacks which unfolded in the space of a few hours and stunned people around the globe.
AP protests threats to freelance camerman who filmed Palestinian rally
Sept. 12, 2001
JERUSALEM (AP) The Associated Press on Wednesday protested to the Palestinian Authority about threats against a freelance camerman who filmed Palestinians celebrating terror attacks in the United States.
The videographer, on assignment for Associated Press Television News, was summoned to a Palestinian Authority security office and told that the material must not be aired. Calls in the name of the Tanzim militia, an armed group associated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah group, warned him he would be held responsible and made what he interpreted as threats on his life.
Several Palestinian Authority officials spoke to AP in Jerusalem urging that the material not be broadcast. Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Arafat's Cabinet secretary, said the Palestinian Authority "cannot guarantee the life" of the cameraman if the footage was broadcast.
The cameraman then requested that the material not be aired. In light of the danger, APTN has not released the footage of the rally in Nablus.
AP news stories reported worldwide on the demonstration in Nablus and AP distributed still pictures and video of similar rallies in east Jerusalem, Lebanon and elsewhere. An AP still photographer did not take pictures of the Nablus rally after being warned at the scene not to do so.
The protest by AP Chief of Bureau Dan Perry said, "I ask the assurances of the Palestinian Authority that you will protect our journalists from threats and attempts at intimidation and that no harm would come to our freelance cameraman from distribution of the film."
Foreign journalists 'deeply concerned' by PA harassment
September 13, 2001
Foreign journalists based in Israel have condemned the Palestinian Authority's harassment of journalists and its suppression of videotape made of Palestinian celebrations in the wake of the terror attacks in the United States this week.
The Foreign Press Association in Israel released the following statement relating to this incident:
"The FPA expresses deep concern over the harassment of journalists by the Palestinian Authority as police forces and armed gunmen tried to prevent photo and video coverage of Tuesday's rally in Nablus where hundreds of Palestinians celebrated the terror attacks in NY and Washington.
"We strongly condemn the direct threats made against local videographers by local militia members and the attitude of Palestinian officials who made no effort to counter the threats, control the situation, or to guarantee the safety of the journalists and the freedom of the press.
"We call on the PA to ensure freedom of the press and the free flow of information and to prevent elements operating within PA jurisdiction from making or carrying out threats that aim to impede this and effectively impose censorship. We hold the PA fully responsible for the safety of each and every journalist operating within their areas, especially those who were filming and covering Tuesday's events in Nablus."
MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE
Special to World Tribune.com
Thursday, September 13, 2001
RAMALLAH The Palestinian Authority has muzzled coverage of Palestinian celebrations of the Islamic suicide attacks against the United States.
Palestinian sources said PA officials stopped several television crews from broadcasting Palestinian celebrations of the suicide jet crashes in New York and Washington. They said PA Information Minister Yasser Abbed Rabbo and his aides telephoned foreign broadcast crews and said the PA would not be able to guarantee their safety if the footage is broadcast.
The sources said Fatah agents loyal to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat warned cameramen to either hand over their videotape or refuse to relay footage of Palestinian celebrations for international broadcast.
The result, the sources said, is that virtually all television crews failed to broadcast the tape of the celebrations. They said this includes PA officers and Fatah gunmen in the West Bank firing in the air to celebrate the kamikaze attacks. The wildest celebrations were reported in Nablus.
In Ramallah, Fatah gunmen captured a Palestinian television cameraman who worked for a major news agency. The gunmen warned he would be killed if the footage filmed of Palestinian celebrations is aired.
For his part, Arafat has expressed outrage over the attacks. On Wednesday, Arafat donated blood for the victims of the U.S. suicide missions.
At the same time, Abbed Rabbo appealed to Palestinians not to publicly display happiness over the attacks in the United States. The information minister told PA radio that such expressions would harm Palestinian interests.
Television journalists refused to publicly acknowledge the pressure. They said most of the Palestinian celebrations were broadcast.
"We are doing our work as well as we should," Connie Mus, a former chairman of the Foreign Press Association, said.
Israel to AP: Release film of Palestinian celebrations
September 13, 2001
Israel is demanding The Associated Press release a videotape of Palestinian celebrations held in the wake of Tuesday's terror attacks in the United States.
The video reportedly captured Palestinian Authority security personnel participating in celebrations around the territories.
Israel claims the Palestinian photographer who shot the film and passed it on to The Associated Press received death threats.
Ra'anan Gissin, a senior aide to Sharon, called the incident "journalism under terror."
The Associated Press yesterday refused to comment on reports that it had refrained from broadcasting the film following pressure from the Palestinian Authority.
Bin-Laden Poster Seen at Gaza Rally
The Associated Press
Friday, Sept. 14, 2001; 6:09 p.m. EDT
JERUSALEM About 1,500 Palestinians, many supporters of the Islamic militant group Hamas, marched in a Gaza Strip refugee camp on Friday, burning Israeli flags and carrying a large poster of Osama bin Laden, who has been named as a key suspect in this week's terror attacks in the United States.
After the rally, plainclothes Palestinian policemen questioned several journalists, including staffers of foreign news agencies, and confiscated videotape and film as well as camera equipment. An Associated Press Television News video was among the materials taken, and an AP photographer was warned by officials not to publish pictures of the bin-Laden poster.
AP protested and demanded return of the video and other material.
The journalists were told police would review the material before deciding whether to release it.
Officials of Yasser Arafat's self-rule government refused to comment on the record and did not respond immediately to AP's protest.
The Palestinian police said in a statement that the rally in the Nusseirat refugee camp took place without a permit. "The Palestinian police confiscated media material which documented illegal acts," the statement said.
The Palestinian Authority has sought to prevent coverage of demonstrations in support of those who carried out the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.
Earlier this week, Palestinian police stopped camera teams and photographers from covering a rally in the West Bank town of Nablus in which several thousand Palestinians celebrated the attacks in the United States. Palestinian officials said the demonstration did not represent widespread Palestinian opinion.
Friday's march in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip was led by supporters of Hamas, a militant group that has claimed responsibility for suicide attacks against Israel. Demonstrators burned several Israeli flags and effigies of Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
A large Osama bin Laden painting was carried by two men in the crowd. Bin Laden, an exiled Saudi millionaire, has been named by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell as a key suspect in Tuesday's terror attacks.