Friday, April 21, 2017

21-Apr-17: In Gaza, human bombs both unwitting and committed

"Female cancer patients in the Gaza Strip go on hunger strike in protest 
of an Israeli decision not to allow them to travel through the Erez crossing 
to seek medical care in Israel" (December 22, 2016). 
Were the sisters described in our post protesting? [Mohammed Asad
Middle East Monitor]
It's too early to know all the facts, but something happened on Israel's border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Wednesday) that highlights the hideous things the Islamist terrorists of Hamas do. And not only to their enemies.

Here's how Associated Press reported it:
Two Palestinian sisters from Gaza were caught trying to smuggle explosives hidden in medicine containers into Israel as they were headed for cancer treatment at a Jerusalem hospital, authorities said, accusing Hamas militants of trying to use the women to carry out an attack. Ragheb Atallah, the patient's husband, said his wife, Basema, 55, has gone for treatment of colorectal cancer in Jerusalem more than 10 times since July and has never had a problem before. He said his wife was unaware that she may have been smuggling anything illegal into Israel. "Someone asked them to take a bottle of medicine on their way for a patient there," he said. "The bottle was closed and they did not know what is inside. It seems there was something and this caused disruption," the husband said Thursday.
Ragheb Atallah said his wife was released and has been given permission again to go to the hospital, but her sister, 57-year-old Ibtessam Eid, remained in Israeli custody...
Despite the hostilities [with Hamas], Israel continues to allow thousands of Gazans to enter its territory for medical care or to travel to neighboring Jordan and other destinations. All travelers are subject to strict security checks, including in some cases lengthy interrogations by Shin Bet agents before they receive travel permits. Israel says the strict policies are necessary because Hamas tries to exploit civilians entering Israel by giving them weapons, cash or other equipment for militant activity... ["Israel: Gaza sisters smuggled explosives on way to hospital"Associated Press - Josef Federman, April 20, 2017]
Hussam Abdo, human bomb - before and after his oversize winter jacket 
was very carefully removed by IDF soldiers, March 2004 
Let's note that the idea of innocent civilians being dispatched on life-threatening missions - whether they know it or not - is part of the Palestinian Arab terrorist ethos and nothing new.

To name just two previous instances:
Also relevant but much less innocent: the case of Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Bis, 21 (also called al-Biri, Albes, and al-Bass), a Gazan woman whose massively-burned body - the result of either an accident at home with a gas stove or deliberately burned by her family for the usual reasons - was restored and saved by Israeli doctors via intensive skin graft therapy in the two months from December 2004. She wrote a grateful-sounding thank you note to the hospital staff, and then "repaid" their kindness six months later by attempting to pass through the Erez Crossing on Israel's Gaza border while wearing an explosive belt. Her Fatah handlers instructed her to explode herself inside Beer Sheva's Soroka Medical Center hospital when she went there for a half-year follow-up appointment. Fortunately she didn't get that far. Alert Israeli security at the crossing sensed something very wrong and did not let her pass. She tried to trigger the bomb in front of the Israeli cameras but the Hamas technology was a dud and she lived, and was arrested, tried and convicted. She remained in an Israeli prison until released in the catastrophic Shalit deal of 2011. 

Wafa al-Bis back home in the Gaza Strip and planning to explode
a second time [Image Source]
Safely back in Gaza, she made headlines immediately after returning by telling little children from a Gaza school (very likely an UNRWA school) who visited her at home that "she hoped they would follow her example" and "Gd willing, we will see some of you as martyrs".

According to an Al Ahram report at the time, the little kiddies responded heartwarmingly: "We will give souls and blood to redeem the prisoners. We will give souls and blood for you, Palestine." Wafa al-Bis has repeatedly said she wants to try the human bomb thing again.

Seriously sick Gazans could go to Egyptian doctors or to the lavish medical centers of the astoundingly rich Gulf states. Instead, they keep crossing over into Israel when facing life-threatening illness or injury - 30,000 of them in 2016 alone [source]. The one aspect of this that's seriously confounding - given how much satanic hatred is relentlessly pumped into these people by their Hamas ideological overlords - is that Israel keeps agreeing to it. But anyone who understands the life-affirming sentiment that is deeply embedded in Jewish society and in Israel in particular will get it.

We are passionately opposed to the use of the expression "suicide bomber". We explained why in a previous post: see "30-Jun-15: We need to be calling them what they are: human bombs". This week's Basema Atallah affair underscores the point. A suicide bomber she certainly was not, as far as can be ascertained at this stage. But could she have ended up being a human bomb? Absolutely yes, and with all the consequences.

And in passing, we noticed that a photo in a Daily Mail UK October 20, 2011 article about Wafa al-Biss has this completely absurd caption:
"Waving a Palestinian flag at her house upon her release, Al-Biss has been in prison since 2004 after a failed suicide attempt"
[Image Source: Daily Mail]
Ms Al-Biss was imprisoned because she failed in an attempt to carry out an explosive act of mass killing. She was evidently indifferent about whether she would survive. That makes it murder, not suicide. And attempting suicide was not what got her sent to an Israeli prison.

In addition to being a human bomb, and probably against her will and without actual knowing, it's clear Mrs Atallah was also used by the bomb makers as a human shield. The news industry generally has a hard time owning up to how Hamas does this routinely (see for instance, "Myth of Hamas’s human shield. Gazans deny being put in line of fire" [Belfast Telegraph, July 21, 2014]).

The cancer patient was almost certainly asked by Israeli security whether she had agreed to carry something through the security barrier on behalf of someone else on the Gaza side. If that happened, the husband's version means she gave an untruthful answer. (Whether or not she knew she was carrying bomb-making materials is irrelevant.) Should she be allowed back into Israel for more life-saving treatment? Given the existential dangers, is it more humane to say yes? Is it less humane to say no?

And to end, some food for thought from six months ago: 
Dozens of female cancer patients in Gaza began a hunger strike today to protest Israeli authorities’ banning them from obtaining travel permits to travel to receive treatment. During a protest attended by dozens of cancer patients in front of the Ministry of Civil Affairs in Gaza this morning, the Aid and Hope Programme for Cancer Patient Care in Gaza condemned senior health official Bassam Al-Badri for humiliating and offending cancer patients. Al-Badri had previously directed offensive and false accusations against the female cancer patients barred from travelling, claiming they purely sought media attention... In a statement she read on behalf of the Aid and Hope Programme, Al-Tatri condemned Al-Badri for also accusing the cancer patients of spying and working for the occupation, as well as exploiting the issue of cancer patients...  A large number of these cancer patients announced they were going on hunger strike as of this morning in an attempt to gain the attention of officials and the world and raise the issue of their suffering... ["Gaza women cancer patients start hunger strike to protest Israel treatment ban", Middle East Monitor, December 22, 2016]
Were the two Gaza sisters in this protest? No idea. The Israelis seem to have given them great attention and help. About Hamas, it's not so clear.

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