Israel admitted at least one case of organ harvesting and more


Mazin Qumsiyeh,
August 25, 2009

In this digest: I report on a 2002 Israeli admission that a pathologist in an Israeli hospital was harvesting organs without authorization, on the hopeful sign of the start of the academic year, the beginning of Ramadan in Palestine, a video on the free Gaza movement, on follow-up to Rafah clashes (in Arabic), and on growth of religious fundamentalism in Israel.

A big tempest in a tea pot is brewing as Israel and Sweden enter a diplomatic fray because a Swedish newspaper suggested investigations are needed on cases of removal of organs from Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. There has been thousands of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli forces and families in many cases explain how the injured and killed are taken to medical facilities and returned ordered to be buried immediately without uncovering why their bodies were opened “for autopsies” and stitched back with missing organs.

Now there are so many documented Israeli atrocities and I do believe it is important that activists get their stories right before adding another to the long list of (far better) documented atrocities. There have been well-documented massacres, ethnic cleansing, use of white phosphorous on civilians, mass execution, torture, extrajudicial execution, bombing of crowded refugee camps, and many more. So I will not here add to this storm.

I did notice missing from the discussion the fact that Israeli authorities themselves have acknowledged at least one pathologist harvesting organs but that story from 2002 was never followed up and we do not know what happened to this investigations (like hundreds of other “investigations” before it): Abu Kabir Operating Organ Warehouse. By

My suggestion to the Swedish government is that it should respond to Israel by demanding that an independent commission look into the allegation and that Israel (for a change) stop stymieing International investigations into human rights abuses. If they have nothing to hide, let independent commissions look into the allegations.

On a more hopeful sign, schools started and Bethlehem University is full of life. Tuition was increased and some students cannot afford tuition. There are some very limited scholarships (more people of good should donate scholarship money).

My wife is teaching in accounting and I teach molecular genetics. In the sciences, a study by one of our faculty members showed that most of our graduates do find jobs. I believe the same for accounting. This may not be true of all disciplines.

Israel still prevents projects that seek sustainable development in the Palestinian economy. International humanitarian aid is allowed because Israel gets a big cut of it and it pays for the occupation (per International law, an occupying power is responsible for the welfare of the occupied people). We need to continuously improve the quality of education because through that we can move our society further along towards liberation and return of the refugees.


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