A cartoon published in an official newspaper of the Palestinian Authority depicts a snake-like skullcap-wearing Israeli having his head cut off by Palestinian unity, Palestinian Media Watch reported Sunday.
It was unclear if the snake drawing was intended to portray Israel or Jews as a whole, or whether it referred specifically to the Israeli right or Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman — whose face the cartoon creature seemed to resemble.
The caricature appeared in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida late last week. A snake or worm with the head of a Jewish man, who is wearing a yarmulke with a star of David on it, is seen as it is about to be severed off by an axe bearing the word “reconciliation.” The face of the snake seems similar to Liberman, while the axe head is a hand making a victory sign, while also holding the snake’s neck in its grip.
Nearly two weeks have passed since the two Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, agreed to bury the hatchet on April 23, in a historic deal that ended the seven-year rift between them.
Under terms of the deal, the two sides would work together to form an “independent government” of technocrats, to be headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah), that would pave the way for long-delayed elections.
The move angered Israel, which has suspended its participation in US-led peace talks, saying it cannot be expected to negotiate with a government which includes members of a party, Hamas, dedicated to its destruction.
Since then, there have been several indications of warming ties between the two parties, such as a decision by Hamas to allow West Bank-based newspapers to be distributed in the Gaza Strip, and a corresponding decision by the Palestinian Authority to allow the Hamas newspaper to be distributed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
AFP contributed to this report.