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Palestinian TV Tones Down Martial Posture (AP) By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH RAMALLAH 02/02/05 10:21 PM)Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58980-2005Feb2.html AP} ASSOCIATED PRESS AP} ASSOCIATED PRESS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian TV has toned down its martial posture, opting for gentler programming in line with rising hopes for Middle Eastern peace.

Anti-Israeli attacks of Palestinian militants no longer receive center stage and words of praise to the Palestinian leadership have all but disappeared from broadcasts. Language long criticized by Israel as inflammatory such as "martyrdom operations" has been toned down.

The head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation said Wednesday the new political situation in the Middle East - symbolized by a planned summit between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Feb. 8 in Egypt - required a new approach to programming.

"We run our programs according to the political situation," said Radwan Abu Ayash. "Now there is an atmosphere of hope and peace so our programs have changed to accompany this atmosphere."

A senior official at the corporation attributed the changes to the death of longtime Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Nov. 11 and Abbas´ election to replace him.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said that after his election Abbas met with the directors of the TV .

"He said ´I don´t want a screen full of blood, I want an open screen, receptive of different viewpoints, I don´t want special songs in praise of me, I don´t always want to be the first item on the news and I don´t want you to cover everything I do, just the important things,´" said the official, who asked not to be identified. (Copyright 2005 Associated Press. 02/02/05)

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