'Israel behind increase in Palestinian AIDS cases'

By
December 1, 2012 19:47

PA official: Palestinians who work in Israel subjected to "political blackmail" by authorities - something that exposes them to AIDS.

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Taking blood for an HIV test [illustrative]

Taking blood for an HIV test 370 (R). (photo credit:Yannis Behrakis / Reuters)

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.

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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 informants.

In the past, Egyptian newspapers had also accused Israel of spreading AIDS in the Arab world by dispatching prostitutes to these countries.

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 yourself.”

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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