The tabloid Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s most popular newspapers, published a report Tuesday that claimed IDF soldiers execute Arabs in Judea and Samaria, harvest their organs and sell them. The report carried a photograph that purportedly shows the body of a victim of such an execution, with a large scar running from his chin to his abdomen. It notes the IDF’s explanation that the scar is from an autopsy which is routinely performed on people who are killed in fighting – but seems not to give it much credit and prefers a completely unsubstantiated claim by Arabs regarding forced organ harvesting.
The report, which appears under the heading, in quotes, "Our sons plundered for their organs,” begins with snippets from a transcript of an FBI recording of a Jewish man who was arrested in July, in connection with a corruption scandal in New Jersey involving elected officials, rabbis, money laundering and illegal organ trading.
Screenshot from Aftonbladet website: article shows scarred body, Jewish man, leaves readers to make connection.
Immediately after providing a short description of the FBI’s suspicions against that group, reporter Donald Boström takes his readers across the ocean to discuss the organ trade in Israel, without explaining what connection there may be between the two matters. He describes “a strong suspicion” among Palestinians that young men’s organs were harvested by the IDF “as in China and Pakistan.” Boström repeats that this is “a very serious suspicion” and suggests that the International Court of Justice should open an investigation into it.
The paper says that half of the kidneys that are used in transplants in Israel are purchased illegally from Turkey, Eastern Europe or Latin America and that Israeli health authorities have full knowledge of the matter, but do nothing to stop it. It then connects the shortage of body parts in Israel to stories of Palestinian men who, it says, are killed and returned to their villages five days later by the IDF.
17 year old eyewitness account
The reporter then gives what he says is his own eyewitness account from 1992 -- 17 years ago -- of an IDF raid on a village in which a rioter named Bilal Achmed Ghanaian was shot and severely injured. He was taken away by a military helicopter and brought back by the army five days later, dead. As his family members buried him, they saw a large scar running from his stomach to his chin.
The report then quotes Arabs who claim that their sons were used as forced organ donors but provides no support for this claim.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that the newspaper had “turned the demonization of Israel into a sacred cause.” He called upon Swedish citizens to express their disgust with “the incitement to hate crimes that the report includes.”
Aftonbladet claims to be the leading daily newspaper in Sweden and in Scandinavia, with a readership of more than 1.5 million.