Palestinians Forced to Spy for Medical Care

Israeli secret police said to deny entry to Gazans who refuse
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2008 9:09 AM CDT
An Israeli soldier escorts an injured Palestinian believed to be a Fatah supporter who fled fighting in the Gaza Strip and crossed into Israel, at the Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon, southern Israel, Sunday,...   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
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(Newser) – Israeli authorities are coercing sick Palestinians into spying on their communities in Gaza, according to a report by an Israeli human rights group. Israel's secret police are telling Gazans seeking entry into the country for vital medical care that they must become informants or they won't be allowed in, reports the Guardian. Thirty ailing Palestinians submitted testimony detailing their interrogations.

"The patient knows that refusal to respond to the interrogator's questions and demands will ruin his chances to access medical treatment," says the human rights report. One patient, a Palestinian journalist, reports being denied entry for treatment when he refused to collaborate. A year later, the journalist is blind in one eye and losing sight in the other.