The Palestinian Authority is exploiting the global coronavirus crisis in order to incite hatred of Israel, including references to the “fangs of Israel” that appear to attribute animalistic qualities to the Jewish state, a frequent theme of classic antisemitism.
According to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the PA’s official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, in a story about Palestinian prisoners, used the headline, “The bodies and lives of the Palestinian prisoners are being burned between the fangs of Israel and the coronavirus.”
The article claims Israel is deliberately using the coronavirus against Palestinian prisoners, citing Fatah’s Commission of Martyrs, Prisoners and Wounded spokesman Nashat Al-Wahidi warning of “the occupation’s exploitation of the coronavirus in order to annihilate the Palestinian prisoners, on the pretext that the virus spread and got out of control.”
PMW stated that despite searching, there was no evidence Al-Wahidi even made such statements.
This was echoed by the PA-funded Prisoners’ Club, which Al-Hayat Al-Jadida said, “explained in a statement yesterday, Friday [April 3, 2020], that the [Israel Prison Service] has stopped ‘the administrative [detention]’ that it uses in order to reduce the crowding in the prisons. This is despite the urgent need for its implementation today given the gathering concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus in the ranks of the prisoners, and given the repeated demands to release prisoners. This is causing us to wonder about the reasons for this measure being stopped now.”
In addition, the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs released two videos, apparently aimed at children, that showed models of tanks, cars and prison cells, as well as a bizarre model of the virus itself that appeared to be made out of clay.
The video shows an imprisoned child being rubbed by the model “coronavirus” while a song is sung saying in part, “O world! My land is burned/My land’s freedom is stolen.”
In the second video, the “coronavirus” model is shown banging on doors and trying to enter a prison window. PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh’s voice is heard saying, “We consider the occupation responsible for protecting the prisoners and demand the immediate release of all of them, and particularly the sick, the children, and the women.”
Texts saying, “the prisoners are in danger,” “release them,” and “coronavirus threatens them” appear on the screen.