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January 24, 2006

NY Times Ignores Nablus's Role as Center of Terrorism

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A New York Times article (Jan. 23, 2006) about the upcoming Palestinian elections (“In a Stronghold, Fatah Fights to Beat Back a Rising Hamas”) represented Nablus as a large and beautiful Palestinian city suffering from Israeli restrictions. This partial representation ignored Nablus's role as a center of Palestinian terrorist activity, as well as its Jewish biblical antecendents. According to the Times:

Nablus is a stunning city, set in a steep valley, founded by the Romans in A.D. 72 and proud of its ancient aqueducts. It is the second-largest city in the West Bank, with some 325,000 people. But it has also been severely affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially in the last five years, with the highest number of casualties, most severe physical damage and most intensive restrictions on movement in the West Bank, according to a report issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in December. Fatah and the Palestinian Authority are paying the price for the economy and the border closures, as well as for Fatah's reputation for corruption.

Well, actually the Romans were not the initial founders of the city; they re-established a city called Flavia Neopolis on the site of the biblical Shechem, in which the Jewish patriarch Abraham offered his first sacrifice to God, and in which Israelites lived and an Israelite king was crowned before the biblical city was destroyed by the Assyrians in the 8th century BCE. The Arabs later called the city Nablus, but it is still known as Shechem by Israelis.

Omitted from the image painted by the Times is Nablus’s role as the headquarters of the terrorist organizations' leaderships in the West Bank and the context for why the city is suffering from “intensive restrictions on movement.” According to Dr. Reuven Erlich, head of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

The Nablus terrorist infrastructure directed and executed suicide attacks in which scores of Israeli citizens were killed and over 400 were wounded. The terrorism operational centers in Nablus instructed terrorist squads in the Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and Ramallah areas to perpetrate terror attacks in the West Bank and inside Israel.

In a paper entitled “Nablus: The Main Infrastructure of Palestinian Terrorism,” Erlich presents the facts ignored by the Times for why the IDF continuously operates in the area and why the Israeli army’s Operation Defensive Wall is necessary. Read the whole thing here.

Posted by RH at January 24, 2006 01:43 PM

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