During May and June 2007, the occupied Palestinian territories witnessed serious domestic fighting as a result of the power struggle between the two leading political parties, Fataḥ and Ḥamās. The fighting left hundreds of Palestinians dead and ultimately led to the split between a Fataḥ-controlled West Bank and a Ḥamās-controlled Gaza Strip that still remains at the time of writing.
This thesis examines how three significant events in this power struggle were represented in the news reports of two Palestinian newspaper with different political affiliations, namely the Fataḥ-affiliated al-Ḥayāt al-jadīda and the Ḥamās-affiliated Filasṭīn. Through combining social and textual analysis, based on the theoretical and methodological framework of critical discourse analysis, I examine how the apparently neutral news reports still carry ideological meaning. My findings show that different choices in linguistic expression such as transitivity and lexicon have a major impact on how the two newspapers represent different aspects of the events, and by referring to the wider political and sociocultural context surrounding the reports, I find that these representations clearly reflect each paper's respective political affiliations. As the interests of the respective political parties change according to developments in the political and social conditions, the choices in linguistic expression in the news reports also change, resulting in a move from a relatively conform representation in the coverage of the first of the events, to more diversified and conflict-orientated representations of the two later events.