Representations of the ‘Palestinian Prisoners-Shalit Swap’ in Selected Arab and Israeli Online News Articles

Abeer Barakat Alhossary, Mohd Faiz Sathivellu Bin Abdullah


‘The Palestinian Prisoners-Shalit Swap’ was a major issue in the media coverage in the Middle East for almost five years. This issue refers to an agreement between Israel and Hamas, the dominant political party governing the Gaza Strip, to release the captivated Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons. Both the Arab and Israeli media played a role in portraying the image of the released Palestinian Prisoners versus the Israeli soldier to the readers worldwide. The study aimed to identify the online media coverage of the Swap by Aljazeera English and Ha’aretz in terms of the manipulation of language to identify the discursive strategies and the linguistic means of self-justification of both news agencies towards this issue .The results of the critical discourse analysis using the Halliday’s Transivity Theory revealed that both news agencies employed material process, verbal processes and relational processes differently to highlight certain characters and actions of the Swap from their viewpoint.


Critical Discourse Analysis, Transivity Theory, ideology and power

Full Text:



Abdul-mageed, M. M. (2008). Online News Sites and Journalism 2 . 0 : Reader Comments on Al Jazeera Arabic. Triple C, 6(2), 59–76. Retrieved from

Aljaazeera (18 October 2011).. Hamas and Israel exchange prisoners. Retrieved from

Aljazeera (2 November 2011).. In Quotes: Shalit and the siege. Retrieved June 01, 2012, from

Al-sharoufi, H. (2006). Critical Discourse Analysis of Political Editorials in Some Arabic Newspapers. In 11th Proceedings of the Pan Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (pp. 8–27). Tokyo. Retrieved from

Atawneh, A. M. (2009). The discourse of war in the Middle East : Analysis of media reporting. Middle East, 41, 263–278.

B’tselem. (2009). B’Tselem’s investigation of fatalities in Operation Cast Lead (pp. 1–6). Tel Aviv. Retrieved from

B’tselem. (2011). Gaza, The siege on. Retrieved June 01, 2012, from

BBC. (2006). Assault, In pictures: Israeli Gaza (2 November 2011). BBC. Retrieved from

Fairclugh, N. (2002). Language and Power (second ed.). New York:Longman.

Fowler, R. (1996). Language in the News: Discourse and Ideology in the Press. New York: Roitledge.

Gamson, W. A., Croteau, D., Hoynes, W., & Sasson, T. (1992). MEDIA IMAGES AND THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY. Review Literature And Arts Of The Americas, 18, 373–393. Retrieved from httpp://

Halliday, M. A. K. (1985). An introduction to functional grammar. Great Britain: Arnold.

Hauser, E. (2011). Gilad Shalit and 5,383 Palestinians. Emily Hauser-In My Head. Retrieved April 08, 2012, from

Hegazy, M. (2010). Book Review: The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War. The Middle East Quarterly, xvii(1). Retrieved from

Matthiessen, C., & Halliday, M. A. K. (1997). SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR : A FIRST STEP INTO THE THEORY. Retrieved from

New York Times (2006, October 5).. 2 Palestinians killed by Israelis in Gaza. Retrieved from“operation autumn clouds”&st=cse

Orgad, S. (2009). Watching How Others Watch Us: The Israeli Media’s Treatment of International Coverage of the Gaza War. The Communication Review, 12(3), 250–261. Retrieved from

UN. (2006). Gaza Strip Situation Report 10 October 2006 (pp. 1–5). Retrieved from

Van Dijk, T.A. (2000). Ideology and discourse: A multidisciplinary introduction. Retrieved from and discourse.pdf

Van Dijk, Teun A. (1985). Introduction : Levels and Dimensions of Discourse Analysis. Pragmatics (Vol. 2, pp. 1–11). London: Academic Press.

Wales, K. (1989). A dictionary of stylistics. London: Longman.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2021 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.