Gaza sisters smuggled explosives on way to hospital

(Source: ynetnews.com)

Two Palestinian sisters from Gaza were caught trying to smuggle explosives hidden in medicine containers into Israel as they were headed for cancer treatment at a Jerusalem hospital, authorities said, accusing Hamas militants of trying to use the women to carry out an attack.

In a statement, the Shin Bet security agency said the women had entry permits to Israel for medical treatment. It said they were caught Wednesday.

Ragheb Atallah, the patient’s husband, said his wife, Basema, 55, has gone for treatment of colorectal cancer in Jerusalem more than 10 times since July and has never had a problem before. He said his wife was unaware that she may have been smuggling anything illegal into Israel.

“Someone asked them to take a bottle of medicine on their way for a patient there,” he said. “The bottle was closed and they did not know what is inside. It seems there was something and this caused disruption,” the husband said Thursday.

Ragheb Atallah said his wife was released and has been given permission again to go to the hospital, but her sister, 57-year-old Ibtessam Eid, remained in Israeli custody.

Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on Gaza after the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power in the coastal strip from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007. Since then, Israel and Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, have fought three wars.

Despite the hostilities, Israel continues to allow thousands of Gazans to enter its territory for medical care or to travel to neighbouring Jordan and other destinations. All travellers are subject to strict security checks, including in some cases lengthy interrogations by Shin Bet agents before they receive travel permits.

Israel says the strict policies are necessary because Hamas tries to exploit civilians entering Israel by giving them weapons, cash or other equipment for militant activity.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas.

Pin It

Community Rules

antiguaobserver.com is really happy to provide this forum in which all are encouraged to freely state their opinions without ridiculing anyone or being ridiculed. We've found that happens really easily if each comment is limited to the topic at hand. We will approve any comment that speaks solely to the story to which it is attached and is free from name calling and defamatory statements.

While we will not post comments questioning moderators' judgement, we will take such suggestions into consideration as possible ways to improve the experience of all community members. If you feel your submission has been disallowed unfairly or if a breech slips through our net, please let us know by e-mailing customer_support@antiguaobserver.com.