MK Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz charged on Monday that Hamas traffics organs of African infiltrators as they make their way to Israel through the Sinai Peninsula.
Katz, who chairs the Knesset Committee on Foreign Workers, made the comments at the opening of a committee meeting on the subject of “Human Trafficking in Sinai – As Infiltrators Make Their Way into Israel.”
The discussion in the Knesset was attended by employees of several ministries - Defense, Health, Public Security, Justice, Population and Immigration, Social Affairs and Finance, as well as the Local Government Centre, the Municipality of Tel Aviv, Physicians for Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the United States Embassy, and members of other Israeli and international agencies.
During the meeting, Katz presented a document based on reports by the Italian Everyone Group, which cited sources over several years describing various forms of abuse, including murder, torture, rape and kidnapping for ransom of would-be infiltrators from Eritrea.
In their report, Everyone Group focused on a man known as Abu-Khaled, with ties to Hamas and Al-Qaeda, who has taken advantage of corrupt Egyptian security to perpetuate criminal activities such as operating a smuggling tunnel between Gaza and Egypt.
In the discussion, Katz emphasized the activities of the traffickersin humans and goods. He noted that he intends to show the world the brutality of the Egyptian government under Hosni Mubarak, who, he claimed, had given these acts of barbarism carte blanche. In contrast to this barbarity, said Katz, he intends to show the world Israel's compassion and humane behavior towards foreign infiltrators.
Infiltrators from various African countries who enter Israel through its border crossings with Egypt, some due to dangers but most for employment, have long been a demographic, criminal and social problem for Israel. Work has begun on construction of a fence along the Israel-Egypt border. The fence, which will stretch over 150 km, will be fitted with cameras and other technological devices that will make it possible to locate infiltrators.
Infiltration has increased since construction of the fence began, and it is believed that this trend will continue as migrants attempt to reach Israel before the fence is complete.