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11.28.2003

Here's how serious Israel is about fighting Palestinian terrorists... 

Some Palestinian guy has accused the Israeli army of using sexual entrapment to coerce him into becoming an informer:



Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades had seized Mr. Hilal, himself a member of the militant group, and interrogated him for three weeks. Now the camera was rolling. In great detail, Mr. Hilal, 23, spoke about informing on his fellow Palestinians by means of furtive cellphone calls to his Israeli handlers, allowing the security forces to track down militants here in this ragged West Bank town.

Mr. Hilal said he began working for the Israelis after he went to a military office seeking a travel permit for his mother. When it was rejected, he argued with the Israeli official and was taken to a room where a woman in an Israeli Army uniform greeted him.

"She asked me what I thought of the Palestinian uprising," Mr. Hilal said. "I said I had no business with the uprising. She put one hand on my shoulder and one on my leg and started to rub. Then she took off all her clothes. When I saw her naked like that, I had to have sex."

Afterward, Mr. Hilal said on a videotape that was distributed by Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades to international news agencies, an Israeli officer showed him 15 photographs of the sexual encounter and demanded that he work with the Israelis or the photos would be distributed in Tulkarm.

Mr. Hilal's description of his recruitment through sexual entrapment could not be corroborated. Shin Bet, the security service that runs the informer network, declined to comment on its methods and said that as a matter of policy it would not comment on individual cases involving suspected Palestinian informants. But a former Shin Bet official strongly denied that Israel would engage in such tactics.

...

Sexual entrapment is sometimes used, Palestinians say, observing that Palestinian homosexuals are particularly vulnerable in a society that is intolerant of gay relationships. They also maintain that the Israelis prey on drug dealers and addicts.

Bassem Eid, head of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, said collaborators began making claims of sexual entrapment in the 1970's. Israel has other ways to pressure informers now, he said, and he hears far less about sex.

Abdel Karim, a Palestinian journalist in Tulkarm who has reported on cases involving collaborators, said he believed the accused sometimes made up or exaggerated sexual encounters, believing this was a more acceptable excuse than saying they had collaborated simply for money. While some are falsely accused, actual collaborators often give themselves away with unusual behavior, he said.



Hey, I have nothing against recruiting snitches to root out homicide bombers, but I'd have to say that the sexual entrapment bit is, uh, slightly unethical. Is there anything to these claims? Who knows. So much of the Middle East is so flooded with anti-Israeli propaganda that it's hard to know when to take such allegations seriously.

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