June 15, 2005.
Israel has been flooding the Palestinian market with carcinogenic juice and
“suspicious” computers used by its Defense Ministry, the Palestinian Authority (PA)
claimed Tuesday. Such allegations, which were common under Yasser Arafat’s
rule, have resurfaced in recent weeks in the Palestinian media.
PA officials have also accused Israel of dumping toxic chemical waste in some
areas in the West Bank with the intention of causing severe damage to the
health of Palestinians.
Last month, PA-controlled newspapers claimed that Israel was using wild pigs
to destroy crops and agricultural farms in the West Bank. The papers claimed
that settlers and IDF soldiers were seen setting loose many wild pigs near
Palestinian villages as part of a campaign designed to destroy the Palestinian
A senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office said that with these types of
allegations, the PA was resorting “to the same types of lies Yasser Arafat used
According to this official, the allegations represented a pandering to the
radical elements on the Palestinian street and not much attention should be paid
At the same time, he said that if the PA was being dragged along by the radical
elements, then “the Palestinians are not on the way to a state, but rather to
Asked if he was not concerned about the frequency of these types of
remarks recently, he said it was not clear whether they represented “an
ominous trend” or were part of intra-Palestinian politics.
But, he said, as PA officials stray from reconciliation to comments of this
type, “there will be greater objection inside Israel about being able to move
forward with the PA” on a diplomatic track.
Comments such as these, as well as PA Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa’s
remarks last week that the PA had no intention of dismantling the terror
organizations, would not halt disengagement, the official said, but would raise
questions about moving forward with any type of diplomatic process with the
PA after the disengagement.
The latest charge was made by Dr. Youssef Abu Safiyeh, chairman of the PA’s
Environment Authority, who told Palestinian legislators in Ramallah that the PA
security forces had recently seized a number of shipments from Israel that
included canned juice containing a carcinogenic substance.
“These drinks are specifically produced for Palestinian consumers in the
Gaza Strip,” Abu Safiyeh said.
He also claimed that the Egyptian authorities last March intercepted two Israeli
trucks carrying children’s toys that included carcinogenic and radioactive
substances. The trucks were seized at the Rafah border crossing, he added.
Abu Safiyeh criticized the PA’s law enforcement authorities for failing to
prevent the import of second-hand Israeli commodities, including computers and
other electrical appliances. He claimed that more than 200 computers
previously used by the Defense Ministry had found their way to the markets of
the Gaza Strip.
Over the past few years, PA officials have repeatedly claimed that Israel was
distributing corrupt food in Palestinian cities. They were quoted in the
Palestinian media as saying that the Israeli government was selling expired food
products to Palestinians with the intention of spreading various diseases among
In 2001, the PA claimed that Israel was responsible for poisoned chocolates
and explosive toys, pens and radios that appeared in markets in the Gaza Strip.
Doctors at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City said then that they had treated
several children who were allegedly poisoned after touching candy bars.
Other doctors have blamed Israel for a reported rise in cases of cancerous
diseases, heart disorders, paralysis and blindness.