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How Israel armed the drugs cartels – part 1

8 29 257

When I lived in the West Bank a decade ago, I heard from Palestinians in both Hebron and Jerusalem more than once that the Israeli occupation forces tolerate or even encourage the sale of hard drugs among the Palestinian population that they control. The theory was that it was an attempt to encourage a sense of chaos and disorder, empowering local gangsters in order to play divide and rule against the Palestinian population.

It is certainly a fact that Israel has long maintained a network of collaborators within the Palestinians of the West Bank. These are often armed by Israel, and are usually recruited from amongst the most corrupt and thuggish criminal elements.

Take, for example, the strange case of Zohair Hamdan, which I reported back in 2012. A Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem, Hamdan was described by one Israeli reporter as “a proud collaborator” with Israel. The man and his sons were heavily armed and were suspected by the local Palestinian population of being Shin Bet agents, working for Israel’s criminally violent domestic intelligence agency.

Despite the faintly ridiculous efforts of one discredited journalist to portray him as some sort of “peace activist”, Hamdan was in fact a petty criminal, thug and fraudster. As such, he was a perfect fit for Israel’s secret police. After falling out with his handers,........

© Middle East Monitor