Palestinian Authority Launches Hebrew-language Site

PA: Site will provide readers with accurate, first-hand information from the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority Wednesday launched a new Hebrew-language version of the Wafa news agency's Web site, which it said would provide readers with "accurate and first-hand information" from Palestinian Authority territory.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas took the opportunity to publish a letter on the Web site, in which he stated he believed in "peace and coexistence between the two peoples."

The director general of the site, Riyad al-Hassan, Wednesday said the appearance of a Hebrew version was long overdue.

"We should have recognized our need to communicate with the Israeli reader, to test his ability to recognize his Palestinian rival, just like the Palestinian recognizes his Israeli rival," he said.

According to Hassan, the Hebrew-language version of Wafa will not try to mimic the Arab-language one.

Rather, it will focus on issues of interest to Israeli media and readers, publishing objective and unbiased news, features and human interest stories.

Hassan said notable Palestinian individuals would write for Wafa and directly engage the Israeli public without any censorship.

Additionally, texts written in Hebrew would be translated into Arabic in order to reach the Palestinian and Arab public.