Israel army recruits ex-intelligence officers to spy on Arab Israelis

Israeli security forces in Nablus, West Bank (Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  October 6, 2020

The Israeli army is recruiting former intelligence officers from Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet to spy on Palestinians living in Israel under the pretext of combating the coronavirus, Israel’s Walla news site revealed.

The site quoted senior sources in the Home Front Command as saying that the army has contacted former officers in the Shin Bet, who are known for their knowledge of Palestinians living in Israel, and asked them to join a new “security body” tasked with tracking coronavirus infections.

A former army officer, who had been contacted by the army, told the news site that while the official aim of the new “security body” is to help obtain information about coronavirus infections within the Palestinian community in Israel, he fears the new body has greater plans for the future.

A member of the Israeli Knesset, MK Aida Touma-Solomon of the Arab Joint List said the report paves the way for more legal violations against Palestinian citizens.

Israel views the Palestinians who remained in their homes in historic Palestine and who later became citizens of Israel as a demographic threat.

Former Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin publicly said that his apparatus would pursue every Israeli Palestinian who refused to recognise Israel as a Jewish state while Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has repeatedly described them as “demographic time bomb”.

Today, Palestinian citizens of Israel represent 21 per cent of the country’s population.