The Palestinian Authority press accuses Israeli doctors of conducting cruel medical experiments on Arab prisoners much like the Nazis did to the Jews during the Holocaust. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a group that monitors the activities of the Arab media in Israel and the Middle East, detailed the claim.
Similar fabrications by the PA have been regular features in the official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, which PMW notes is under the direct authority of Mahmoud Abbas.
Three new libels have surfaced in the PA paper in the past week alone.
"The method employed by the Israeli Occupation in which they [are] instigating slow death ... doctors in Israeli prison clinics use the prisoners as guinea pigs for clinical drug testing under the pretense of 'treatment,'" reads a report in the July 6 edition of the paper.
"Many of the male and female inmates received injections from needles they had not seen before, and which caused their hair and facial hair to fall out permanently ... others lost their sanity, or their mental condition is constantly deteriorating... and some are suffering from infertility," according to a story in the July 4 edition of the same newspaper.
A day earlier, Al-Hayat wrote that "the doctors in these prison clinics are using the prisoners as guinea pigs for clinical testing of drugs and treatment-methods."
PA Campaign is Not New
The PA-sponsored blood libel campaign is nothing new, having been used for years as a tool to demonize the state and kindle hatred against Israel. The subject of Arab prisoners held by Israel is an especially sensitive one for Arab readers, write PMW's Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, and the Arab media capitalizes on such insecurities in the Arab street in its campaign to destroy the Jewish state on paper.
To the Arab masses, the release of Arab terrorists held prisoner by Israel is a cause célèbre, and all means necessary to obtain the release of the prisoners are considered legitimate, including the abduction and murder of IDF soldiers. This is so especially when the prisoners are believed to be mistreated, as the libels claim.
The PA acknowledges the ability of these reports to further radicalize local Arabs, saying that reports about “experiments” conducted on PA prisoners "mobilize each and every human-being as such... to actively participate in activities aimed at their release and their return to freedom, properly meant as a return to life... all of us! All of us! All of us! - to confront the enemy in the war it wages." (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2007)
The most recent accusations build on ongoing charges that Israeli doctors perform the same kinds of experiments on Arab prisoners that the Nazis performed on the Jews in the death camps:
"We have many examples of experiments conducted by the Nazis, but we shall bring one example that exhibits a great similarity [to the Israeli experiments]: They would insert poisons into the prisoners' food in order to study the effect of the poisons on people, with the purpose of performing autopsies on the bodies of those who died from the poison. [The source] mentioned multiple cases of the mass poisoning of Palestinian and Arab prisoners in several Israeli prisons and detention centers. He did not rule out the possibility that the mass poisonings were done deliberately." (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 1, 2007).
The libel continues, accusing Israel of deliberately attempting to "increase the suffering of the prisoners and to murder them slowly, or to render them hollow, fragile and sickly bodies that will be a burden to their families and their nation after their release..."
Attempting to legitimize the libels, the PA newspaper repeated a quote from a previous edition, in which Dalia Itzik admitted in 1997 to “thousands of medical clinical trials” and that “experiments with dangerous drugs are performed each year on Palestinian prisoners.”
The quote, published in the July 4 edition of the paper, also repeated another previously published fabrication-that an Israeli named Amy Laftat, whom the paper described as the head of the pharmaceutical division in the Ministry of Health, reported that "there is a 15% annual increase in the number of permits granted by her office for conducting research on dangerous medications on Palestinians"
Israel Says It Never Happened
PMW investigated these claims with Israeli government sources and found neither to have any semblance of truth. The office of Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik responded to the supposed quotes by saying that she "never made the statements attributed to her. Knesset Speaker Itzik is certain that incidents of this kind do not occur in Israel; this is not how Israel conducts itself."
The Ministry of Health denied the alleged statement of a Ms. Laftat: “Clinical testing on prisoners in prison was never approved, never performed, and is most certainly not taking place at present. Furthermore, there is no person named Amy Laftat working for the Pharmaceutical Division.”