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Israel vaccinates imprisoned terrorists against the Coronavirus and the PA ‎spreads libels

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.‎  |

While the State of Israel has begun to vaccinate the Palestinian terrorists being held in ‎the Israeli prisons against the Coronavirus – and is doing so even before millions of ‎Israeli citizens have been vaccinated – the PA, for its part, is using the event to once ‎again raise the recurring libel that Israel is conducting medical experiments on the ‎terrorists.‎

The PA’s claims that Israel is neglecting the imprisoned terrorists, both medically and in ‎other ways, and conducting medical experiments on them are nothing new. This is a ‎libel renewed regularly by the PA, and intensifies whenever a terrorist dies of an ‎illness in prison.‎

It goes without saying that there is no basis to these claims.‎

The vaccination of the terrorist prisoners against the Coronavirus is no different. Ever ‎since the vaccine arrived in Israel, the PA and its agents have been demanding that ‎Israel not only vaccinate the terrorist prisoners but also agree to international ‎supervision over the process due to baseless concern that Israel will take advantage of ‎the vaccination to conduct “medical experiments.” ‎

The Prisoners’ Club - which is funded by the PA - demanded that Israel and the Israeli ‎Prison Service subjugate themselves to “a neutral medical committee that will ‎supervise the vaccination of the prisoners and the necessary procedures”:‎

‎“There are still concerns among the prisoners regarding the vaccine, especially ‎in light of the long historical experience on everything regarding the policy of ‎the occupation’s Israeli Prison Service against the prisoners, including the ‎policy of medical neglect (slow murder) [parentheses in source] and the use of ‎their bodies for experiments.”‎

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 21, 2021]‎

An earlier statement issued by the Prisoners’ Club listed the names of three terrorists ‎who had received the vaccine the previous day and repeated the demand to establish ‎a medical committee to supervise the vaccinations:‎

‎“The Prisoners’ Club emphasized the main demand: A neutral medical ‎committee that will supervise the prisoners’ vaccination, the type of vaccination, ‎and the manner in which it is given, especially in the shadow… of a series of ‎concerns connected to a long history [of] a policy that the occupation has ‎implemented on the bodies of the prisoners throughout the recent decades, ‎including using their bodies for experiments…”‎

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 18, 2021]‎

One of the terrorists whose name was mentioned in the Prisoners’ Club statement is ‎Muwaffaq Uruq, a terrorist and citizen of Israel who was sentenced to a 30-year prison ‎term for his part in the double terror attack committed at Tel Aviv’s central station in ‎January 2003, in which 23 people were murdered.‎

At a protest in Jenin, the demonstrators again emphasized the same message:‎

‎“It is necessary to pressure the occupation so there will be a neutral committee ‎that will supervise the provision of Coronavirus vaccinations to the prisoners, ‎out of fears that the occupation authorities will conduct experiments on ‎their bodies as has happened in the past…”‎

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 31, 2020]‎

In a post on the Facebook page of the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, which is also ‎funded by the PA, the commission’s director, Qadri Abu Bakr, raised the demand to ‎supervise the terrorists’ vaccinations through “supervision by the [PA] Ministry of ‎Health and Ministry of Prisoners and the presence of doctors and experts, the World ‎Health Organization (WHO), and the International Committee of the Red Cross.” Abu ‎Bakr explained:‎

‎“Vaccinating the prisoners without briefing the relevant bodies about the type of ‎vaccine and its source raises the concerns of the prisoners and the relevant ‎bodies and causes them to fear that the prisoners will be subjected to Israeli ‎medical experiments.”‎

[Official Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs,‎ Dec. 26, 2020]‎

Just a few days earlier, the Prisoners’ Club sent a message to the WHO demanding ‎that it pressure Israel to allow for a neutral medical committee, with the participation of ‎the Red Cross, which would supervise and observe the process of vaccinating the ‎prisoners. The Prisoners’ Club explained:‎

‎“The decision to give the vaccine is an important demand that we have already ‎raised in the past a number of times, while giving priority to those who are sick ‎and the elderly among them, but this requires the supervision of a neutral third-‎party over the process. This is because since the beginning of the epidemic’s ‎spread, the Israeli Prison Service is continuing to provide the exclusive version ‎regarding the epidemic, especially on everything connected to the results of the ‎prisoners’ [Coronavirus] tests, and to turn the epidemic into a tool to oppress and ‎abuse the prisoners…”‎

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 24, 2020]‎

Regarding the libel that the Israeli Prison Service is deliberately causing diseases ‎among the imprisoned terrorists and conducting medical experiments on them, the ‎Prisoners’ Club added:‎

‎“We are emphasizing this demand at a time when the occupation’s Israeli Prison ‎Service is continuing to execute a policy of abuse… that throughout the recent ‎decades, according to hundreds of facts and pieces of evidence, has caused ‎prisoners to become sick with chronic and dangerous illnesses that has led to ‎the deaths of dozens of them – including four prisoners who have died as ‎Martyrs since the beginning of the year [2020] – and this is in addition to ‎concerns about the prisoners’ bodies being used for experiments…”‎

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 24, 2020]‎

In Israel, the priorities for vaccinating the population against the Coronavirus, including ‎those who are imprisoned, are determined by a committee of the Israeli Ministry of ‎Health. After the committee determined that various groups of the population, including ‎those who are imprisoned – both those imprisoned on criminal charges as well as ‎imprisoned terrorists - should be vaccinated, Israeli Minister of Public Security, Amir ‎Ohana, ordered not to vaccinate all the imprisoned population until all the prison ‎guards were vaccinated. A number of petitions were submitted to the Israeli High Court ‎of Justice against this decision.‎

And indeed, as mentioned above, despite the libels that Israel is conducting medical ‎experiments on terrorists, and despite the PA’s baseless demands that the ‎vaccinations be provided under the supervision of various international bodies, the ‎vaccination of the terrorist prisoners has already begun, even before millions of Israeli ‎citizens have been able to receive the vaccine. ‎

The PA’s ungratefulness regarding the vaccines is not limited only to the imprisoned ‎terrorists. According to an answer submitted in response to a petition to Israel’s High ‎Court of Justice, on Jan. 4, 2021, the PA contacted Israel and asked for an amount of ‎vaccines for over 100 Palestinian medical staff members aged over 60 who are treating ‎Coronavirus patients in the PA. With the consent of the Israeli Minister of Health, the ‎director-general of the Ministry of Health approved the request in a humanitarian ‎gesture, and Israel transferred the vaccines to the PA on the very same day.‎

When the news that Israel had given the PA 100 vaccines became public and was ‎published in the press, the Palestinian Ministry of Health hurried to deny both ‎contacting Israel for aid and receiving the vaccines:‎

‎“The Health Ministry today categorically denied the receipt of dozens of doses of ‎Covid-19 vaccine from Israel.‎
The Ministry described Israeli media reports that Israel has transferred dozens of ‎coronavirus vaccine to the Palestinian Authority at the start of the week as ‎‎‘groundless rumors.’”‎

[WAFA, English edition, official PA news agency, Jan. 13, 2021]‎

The PA already demonstrated its priorities at the beginning of the global battle against ‎the Coronavirus. While many states, including Israel, made great efforts at the start of ‎the pandemic to obtain testing kits and medical devices needed to treat Coronavirus ‎patients, the PA prioritized continuing to pay salaries to imprisoned and released ‎terrorists and allowances to the families of dead terrorists. Later on, PA sources ‎repeatedly promised that they were working to independently obtain the vaccine for the ‎Palestinian population. In the end, when it became clear these statements were not ‎true, the PA returned to relying on its regular excuse – blame Israel.‎

The following are longer excerpts of some of the texts cited above:‎

Headline: “41 prisoners were infected with the Coronavirus at Ramon Prison ‎and Ketziot Prison”‎
‎“The number of prisoners who have been infected with the Coronavirus in the ‎Ramon and Ketziot Prisons rose yesterday, Wednesday [Jan. 20, 2021], to 41…‎
The [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club emphasized the central demand in this ‎context: a neutral medical committee that will supervise the vaccination of the ‎prisoners and the necessary procedures for this…‎
It noted that there are still concerns among the prisoners regarding the vaccine, ‎especially in light of the long historical experience on everything regarding the ‎policy of the occupation’s Israeli Prison Service against the prisoners, including ‎the policy of medical neglect (slow murder) [parentheses in source] (sic., see ‎note below regarding the PA libel on medical abuse of Palestinian prisoners) ‎and the use of their bodies for experiments.”‎

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 21, 2021]‎

Libel on medical abuse of Palestinian prisoners - the PA claims that Israel abuses Palestinian prisoners, through medical neglect, medical experiments, and by intentionally infecting them with diseases. However, the International Red Cross regularly visits these prisoners and has not documented or accused Israel of any of these claims. Likewise, lists of demands occasionally issued by the prisoners during hunger strikes - such as during one in 2011 - include no demands relating to these claims. PMW has documented prisoners talking about how they "lack nothing" in the prisons, and that "the worst thing about Israeli prison" is riding in a prison vehicle that has no padding on the seat. When PMW contacted the Israeli Ministry of Health in 2007 regarding PA claims of medical experiments on prisoners, the ministry responded: "Clinical testing on prisoners in prison was never approved, never performed, and is most certainly not taking place at present."

Headline: “The [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club: Three sick prisoners in Ashkelon ‎Prison received the vaccine”‎
‎“The [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club said that three sick prisoners in Ashkelon ‎Prison received the Coronavirus vaccine yesterday [Jan. 17, 2021]: Muwaffaq ‎Uruq (i.e., terrorist, involved in murder of 23), Yasser Rabai’ah (i.e., terrorist, ‎murdered 1 together with an accomplice), and Wael Abu Shkheidim (PWW was ‎unable to determine the nature of his crimes -Ed.).‎
The Prisoners’ Club explained that the three prisoners are serious medical ‎cases – prisoners Muwaffaq Uruq and Yasser Rabai’ah have cancer, and ‎prisoner Wael Abu Shkheidim suffers from a severe health condition…‎
The Prisoners’ Club emphasized the main demand: A neutral medical ‎committee that will supervise the prisoners’ vaccination, the type of vaccination, ‎and the manner in which it is given, especially in the shadow… of a series of ‎concerns connected to a long history [of] a policy that the occupation has ‎implemented on the bodies of the prisoners throughout the recent decades, ‎including using their bodies for experiments (sic.).”‎

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 18, 2021]‎

Muwaffaq Naif Hassan Uruq – Arab-Israeli terrorist who led two suicide bombers to their double attack in Tel Aviv in which 23 people were murdered and dozens injured on Jan. 5, 2003. Uruq is serving a 30-year sentence.

Yasser Rabai'ah and Ismail Radaida – Palestinian terrorists who murdered Greek ‎Orthodox monk Tsibouktsakis Germanus in an attack on the Jerusalem-Ma'ale Adumim ‎road on June 12, 2001.‎

Headline: “Jenin: A support vigil for prisoner Jibril Al-Zbeidi, who has been ‎hunger striking for 19 days”‎

‎“Dozens of civilians participated in a support vigil for prisoner Jibril Al-Zbeidi, ‎who has been hunger striking for 19 days consecutively in protest of his ‎administrative detention…‎
The speakers emphasized that it is necessary to pressure the occupation so ‎there will be a neutral committee that will supervise the provision of Coronavirus ‎vaccinations to the prisoners, out of fears that the occupation authorities will ‎conduct experiments on their bodies as has happened in the past (sic.).”‎

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 31, 2020]‎

Text posted on the Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs

Posted text: “[Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs] Qadri Abu Bakr: ‎We have concerns about the occupation’s attempt to vaccinate the prisoners ‎‎[against] the Coronavirus‎
Dec. 25, 2020‎

Director of Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu ‎Bakr said that the Israeli occupation has decided to vaccinate the prisoners with ‎a vaccine [against] the Coronavirus.‎
Abu Bakr told the paper Filastin: ‘Before vaccinating the prisoners, the ‎occupation must brief us on the type of vaccine, its source, and the defined time ‎of the vaccination,’ and he placed a number of conditions, such as supervision ‎by the [PA] Ministry of Health and Ministry of Prisoners and the presence of ‎doctors and experts, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the ‎International Committee of the Red Cross.‎
He added: ‘Vaccinating the prisoners without briefing the relevant bodies about ‎the type of vaccine and its source raises the concerns of the prisoners and the ‎relevant bodies and causes them to fear that the prisoners will be subjected to ‎Israeli medical experiments.’‎
Abu Bakr called to defend the prisoners against the virus and provide them with ‎their needs such as disinfectants, cleaning supplies, and masks. He also called ‎to stop the prison management’s forceful control and the transfer [of the ‎prisoners] between the prisons, in order to protect them from being infected with ‎the virus.‎
The occupation is continuing to detain approximately 4,300 Palestinian ‎prisoners, 700 of them sick people, 40 of them with incurable diseases, and 10 ‎who are suffering from cancer at varying degrees of severity, according to ‎official statistics.”‎

[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, Dec. 26, 2020]‎