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Thursday, May 17, 2007

'Palestinian' Doctors Without Borders employee charged with trying to assassinate Olmert

A 'Palestinian' from the Gaza Strip, who was allowed to enter and leave Israel because he was an employee of Doctors Without Borders, has been charged with attempting to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert and other senior Israeli officials.

The 'Palestinian,' Massab Bashir (pictured top left), is 25-years old and has been working for Doctors Without Borders for five years. Doctors Without Borders is recognized by the United Nations as a humanitarian group, and its employees are granted free passage by the Israeli government through checkpoints and closed military areas. They feature large decals on their vehicles with a picture of a crossed out assault rifle to indicate that they are non-combatants.

In its page on 'Palestine', Doctors Without Borders says that "MSF [Medicine Sans Frontieres. CiJ] teams in the Palestinian territories provide psychological and medical care, and social assistance to families affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." But MSF is far from non-political - and that's a topic for a separate post....

Bashir was arrested three weeks ago. Two other men were arrested along with him: an 'Israeli Arab' from 'the southern part of the country' (that's the description I heard on Israel Radio this morning) and another man about whom the media either knows nothing or is saying nothing. This brief chronology is from Arutz Sheva:
Bashir was arrested three weeks ago and confessed to collecting intelligence information for the PFLP terror group with the goal of killing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman and David Be’eri. Be'eri heads the Elad organization which develops Ir David, the Jewish archaeological gardens in the Silwan region below Jerusalem’s Old City. [Israel Radio had this part of the story this morning with the head of the archaeological digs at the Mughrabi Gate being the third target. Arutz Sheva and JPost both name Be'eri, YNet has the story as Israel Radio had it and Haaretz doesn't mention this part of the story. He apparently also looked into murdering other MK's but no one else has been named Both YNet and Israel Radio said that he collected information about 'specific Knesset members' on the Internet, but that he did not actually try to murder them because they did not live in Jerusalem. CiJ]

The terrorist met with PFLP handlers in September 2006, after which he received combat and arms training [The combat referred to here is hand-to-hand combat. Israel Radio, JPost and YNet said specifically that he was trained in how to break people's necks. JPost also says that he was trained in how to kill without using weapons. CiJ]. He said he eventually concluded that security was too tight around the government officials and in December, 2006 decided to instead murder David Be’eri, a target because of his development of Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. In January 2007, with a pass from Doctors Without Borders, Bashir targeted Be’eri and began gathering intelligence information on his daily routine. He returned in February and March – and was arrested on his latest trip, on April 19.
JPost reports on Doctors Without Borders' reaction:
Duncan Mclean, head of 'Doctors Without Borders' in the region, told Israel Radio, "I don't think embarrassed would be the right word. We are very sad for Bashir who has been working for us for almost six years. But we would like to make it very clear that we make a distinction between his professional work and what he does on his personal time in the sense that all our staff is hired for professional reasons and I don't think our organization can be held liable for every aspect of their life." [In other words, of course they would hire him again. CiJ]

According to Mclean, all of the organization's staff members undergo an IDF security check.
By the way, Haaretz barely mentions Doctors Without Borders in its article (one very small mention). We don't call them Israel's Hebrew Palestinian daily for nothing.


At 8:00 PM, Blogger BillT said...

Proof that those who are willing to kill men, women and children to advance a sick religiopolitical ideology will also be willing to use any means available to do so.


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