PA Officials: Israel Spreads Drugs Among Youth

Palestinian Media Watch exposes five articles in an official PA daily in which officials accuse Israel of spreading drugs among youth.

Elad Benari ,

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

One day after Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi was condemned internationally for saying that Jews and the Talmud are responsible for international drug trafficking, no less than five articles in an official Palestinian Authority daily cited different PA officials accusing Israel of having a policy to disseminate drugs among Palestinian Authority Arab youth.

The remarks were exposed by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) organization, which monitors PA-based media, translates it and presents it on its website. The organization’s reports often reveal the PA’s incitement to hatred and attacks on Israel.

One of the officials, the Governor of Jericho, said that Israel “is encouraging and turning a blind eye to [drug] dealers and their efforts to distribute drugs, through a systematic policy to destroy Palestinian society, targeting the youth.”

The District Governor of Jenin said that Israel “seeks to harm the Palestinian people and to destroy it and its national enterprise [through drugs] as a continuation of its Zionist enterprise.”

The District Governor of Ramallah mentioned Israel's "efforts to humiliate our youth, to break their willpower, and to distance them from their [Palestinian] cause and their principles, by spreading drugs among them.” She also emphasized that “the occupation does not hesitate to exercise all forms of control over our youth, using dirty and inhuman methods.”

A PA social worker, Sonia Diba, held Israel responsible “for the fact that residents of Jerusalem are falling 'victim to drugs, because [Israel] distributes huge quantities of them, in addition to the increasing unemployment and the lack of centers and institutions in Jerusalem to absorb the children and adolescent youth, causing them to turn to drugs, which are distributed with the aid of the occupation and its branches.”

All the statements appeared in the PA-based daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on June 27.

PMW noted that this is not the first time that Israel has been accused by the PA of intentionally spreading drugs. Two years ago, an advisor to the PA’s Prime Minister Salam Fayyad claimed that Israel "spreads prostitution and drugs" among Arab residents of Jerusalem.

The PA has also accused Israel of spreading AIDS among PA Arabs. In June of 2010, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida quoted the head of the PA’s drug fighting agency as having said, “This plague [AIDS] is a political problem which is nurtured by Israel.” He spoke at a seminar about drugs organized by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).