Shin Bet blackmails dying Gaza medical patients for intelligence

You know all of those 220 or so medical patients in Gaza who have died since the siege by Israel began because the Shin Bet wouldn’t allow them access to Israeli hospitals?

Well, it turns out that the Shin Bet has been holding their illnesses over their head and at least in some instances, making their access to Israeli hospitals conditional upon their providing the Shin Bet with intelligence on their countrymen. 

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) is the arbiter of life and death for gravely ill Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, the NGO Physicians for Human Rights charged in an 83-page report released early Monday morning.

The report includes dozens of pages of testimony by 11 Gazan citizens whom the Shin Bet has allegedly questioned and tried to pressure into providing intelligence information in return for permission to cross into Israel on their way to medical treatment outside the Gaza Strip.

According to the report, entitled Holding Health to Ransom, PHR charged that Shin Bet interrogators question Palestinians who have applied (and often already received) exit permits to enter Israel on their way to urgent medical treatment in Israel, the West Bank or Jordan. According to the report, the interrogators demand that the patients provide intelligence information in return for permission to leave.

“The conduct and policy of the Shin Bet have turned patients’ vulnerability into a primary means for obtaining security information,” the authors of the report charged. “Long waiting times, questioning of the patient about himself and his acquaintances and appropriation of cellphones to extract phone numbers of family members and acquaintances are all part of the harsh atmosphere in which the patient is aware that his refusal to respond may bar him from exiting Gaza for much-needed treatment.

“Once the Shin Bet has established control over a patient, permitting medical treatment is explicitly or implicitly made contingent upon collaboration.”


The article then gives an example of this murderous activity:

One of the testimonies in the report involved a Gaza resident about 38 years old named Aleph, who suffered from Hodgkin’s lymphoma and needed to undergo a PET/CT scan. The appointment, set for Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, had to be punctual because the procedure required isotopes which would die out within minutes of the appointed time.

According to the description of Aleph’s experience, “the patient arrived at Erez Crossing early in the morning and was made to wait there for hours. When he finally went in for questioning, his interrogators demanded that he collaborate and threatened that unless he responded to their demand, they would prevent his entry into Israel.

“Then,” continued Aleph, “he said, you have cancer and it will soon spread to your brain. As long as you don’t help us [you can] wait for Rafah Crossing [to open].”

According to the report, Aleph was forced to wait 10 hours at Erez. By the time the permit was authorized, the isotopes had died out and there was no point in his going to the hospital.

Of course this is denied by the Shin Bet… just as they denied beating up Mohammed Omer a while back.  This should come as no surprise to those who are familiar with Shin Bet’s dealings with Palestinians over the years.


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