Israel is responsible for the increase in the number of AIDS patients in the
Palestinian territories, As’ad Ramlawi, director of Primary Heath Care in the
Palestinian Authority, claimed Saturday.
The PA’s official new agency
Wafa reported Ramlawi’s allegation.
Ramlawi was speaking during an event
organized by the PA Ministry of Health in Jenin marking the United Nation’s
World AIDS Day.
He claimed that Palestinians who go to work in Israel are
subjected to “political blackmail” by Israeli authorities – something that
exposes them to AIDS.
Ramlawi did not explain what he meant by “political
blackmail” and how it is connected to AIDS.
But some Palestinians have in
the past claimed that Israeli security forces recruit “collaborators” by first
seducing them to have sexual intercourse with prostitutes and then threatening
to publish their photos in public if they refused to serve as
In the past, Egyptian newspapers had also accused Israel of
spreading AIDS in the Arab world by dispatching prostitutes to these
Ramlawi revealed that there were 77 cases of AIDS patients in
the Palestinian territories.
An Israeli government official said “these
sort of ridiculous charges unfortunately demonstrate the mind-set of all too
many in the Palestinian leadership, that whenever there is a problem – no matter
what – it is Israel’s fault.”
The official described this phenomenon as
the “blame Israel first club.”
The “luxury” of belonging to that club, he
said, was that “you never have to take any responsibility on
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.