Decision made at Fayad's weekly meeting; representatives, media instructed to act accordingly.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
The Palestinian Authority cabinet has decided to endorse the term "Occupied Palestine" when referring to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and has instructed its representatives and media to act accordingly.
The decision was taken during the weekly meeting of the government, which is headed by Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, in Ramallah on Tuesday.
Until now, the PA used the terms Palestinian Territories and West Bank and Gaza Strip when referring to the two areas.
Hamas, Hizbullah, al-Qaida and other radical groups, on the other hand, have always called these areas (as well as Israel proper) Occupied Palestine.
The PA's decision to rename the two areas came at the request of several Palestinian journalists, writers and politicians who have long been calling for avoiding the use of Israeli and Western terminology.
In keeping with the government's decision, the PA-controlled media in the West Bank have been instructed to start using the term Occupied Palestine in their reporting.
PA foreign Minister Riad Malki accused Israel of seeking to "insert foreign phrases and terms into the Palestinian and Arab media as a way of affecting Arab mentality and international public opinion."
He said that his ministry, in cooperation with the Arab League and the Palestinian media, has been busy detecting the unwanted terms in the Arab media and alerting editors and writers to the need to get rid of them.
"We are doing our utmost to prevent this kind of unwanted terminology from infiltrating our Arab lexicon and political speech," Malki said. "We also urge the Arab countries to be on alert and foil any attempt by the occupation to insert its own terminology into their media."
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