In a message to Israel's attorney general, three human rights organizations criticized Israeli intelligence agencies for blackmailing Palestinian patients in Gaza, exploiting their vulnerability in order to pressure them into collaborating with the occupation authorities. According to the organizations, a number of patients have been given false promises that they would be allowed to leave the Gaza Strip for medical care. However, once they reached the Beit Hanoun border crossing, they have been arrested and led to prisons inside Israel.
"This is an illegal policy in which the desperate situation of the patients is taken advantage of, and medical care turns into a tool that serves the security body," said a spokesman.
The organizations include Israel's Physicians for Human Rights, the ADALA centre and Mezan Centre for Human Rights. In their message, they included three case studies of patients who were detained in prisons inside Israel. In two of those recent cases, the patients were arrested while they were at Erez border crossing on their way to receive medical treatment.
These three cases trigger concerns that there is an official policy of misleading patients and taking advantage of their desperate need for medical treatment, to entice them to cooperate with Israeli security bodies.
"We believe that if the aforementioned policy is being adopted, it represents an unethical abuse of the medical system, and also of patients' suffering and desperate medical conditions, in order to carry out arrests and interrogations. Thus, this policy must be stopped immediately."