Working for the Enemy Our World


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Working for the Enemy

BBC Arabic's Murad Batal Shishani travels to Israel and Gaza to find out why some Palestinians choose to collaborate with Israel.


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and exploitation in Our World.

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It is being called the world's

largest open prison. The Gaza Strip.

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Penned in by walls, barbed wire and

gun turrets. The 1.8 million people

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living here can only get into Israel

with special permission. And even if

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their lives depend on it, they have

to enter through here. The Haartez

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Crossing, the main gateway into

Israel. -- Haaretz. This is the

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story of the desperate choices

people have to make.

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It is the story of how the Israeli

state seeks to protect its citizens.

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I wouldn't rule out that 9000 people

are still alive, they don't even

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know they were about to be killed.

And of those who now lives tortured

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by shame and regret.

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This is a film about Palestinians to

collaborate with the Israeli state.

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Those who would work for the enemy.

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In May 2017, the ruling Hamas

government in Gaza released this

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video to a shocked public.

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Some Palestinian men had apparently

been caught working for Israel in

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Gaza. They were explaining how they

were recruited.

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Each had been cleverly targeted

according to their needs and

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beliefs. They were then recruited by

Israeli agents to kill a senior

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leader of the Hamas military wing.

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He was one of those behind a series

of bombings in 2002, killing and

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wounding Israeli citizens. He

received a nine life sentences for

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murder. Bartee was released in a

controversial prisoner exchange in

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2011. -- but he was. Mahmoud is one

of the founders of Hamas. He had

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known him for years.

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But somebody seemed to think that's

Fuqaha was still active. This man

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received his instructions on the

24th of March, 2017. He outlined the

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plan in the Hamas confessional

video.

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Hamas officials say that this is

Ashraf, caught on CCTV as he walks

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past the hospital, into the yard.

And towards his target's parking

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lot. Fuqaha had spent a family day

on the beach. He was alone in his

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car. The gunman followed him,

knocked on his window, and shot him

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five times. Ashraf's job was done.

Hamas had lost one of its key

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assets, and there was an out pouring

of grief at Fuqaha's funeral. Shoot

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-- soon after, Ashraf and his

suspected accomplices were arrested.

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In their confessions, they warned

the audience not to fall for Israeli

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recruiters.

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Days after these confessions were

filmed, all three men were executed

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as traitors, and as a warning to

others. We cannot verify the

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testimonies in the video. Hamas

would not share there evidence. But

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collaborating with Israel is not

such a rare thing here. Working for

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Israel, the security forces, is a

matter of taboo here among

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Palestinians. I am on my way to a

prison to speak to an inmate who

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knows able to bow to the subject. --

knows a lot about. According to the

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guards at this Palestinian jail, a

quarter of the inmates are convicted

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collaborators. This inmate runs a

support group for prisoners who have

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worked for the Israeli state.

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Ivory and told me that Israeli

recruiters prey on the needs of

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people in Gaza. -- Ibrahim told me.

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The Israeli authorities told us they

do not try to recruit people and is

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vulnerable situations. -- in these

vulnerable situations. Most of those

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in prison for collaboration have

been prosecuted for simply giving

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information to the Israelis. But

Ashraf, and others convicted of

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killing Mazen Fuqaha, went much

further. Hamas says they committed

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murder. What could make a

Palestinian like Ashraf kill a

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leading Hamas militant? And how much

the Israeli security forces have

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found and recruited such a man. The

Fuqaha murder confession was not a

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first-time Ashraf was noticed. He

was active in the violence which are

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daft attempt on -- Hamas took power

here in 2007. -- which erupted after

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Hamas to power. It turned out that

Ashraf was a member of the Hamas

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security forces. He was heavily

involved in fighting against Hamas

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opponents. In 2007, he started to

adopt more radical views. In 2007,

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Ashraf kidnapped and murdered the

owner of a Christian bookshop in

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Gaza. When his body was recovered,

it was disfigured by multiple stab

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wounds and gunshot wounds. Ashraf

was a brutal killer. I wanted to

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find somebody who could explain his

motivation.

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Jihadist two are not welcomed hereby

Hamas authorities in Gaza, but I

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have managed to contact one of them

who is very influential in these

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circles. -- jihadists are not. I

hope he will be able to tell me more

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about Ashraf. Did Ashraf share his

plans with other radicals here?

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Jihadists had been arrested in Gaza,

and even killed. The Hamas

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authorities had attacked mosques.

Was Ashraf motivated by revenge? I

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am hoping my contact will give me

some answers. So, I met him. He

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didn't want to be filmed. But he

told me very interesting stuff.

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Ashraf approached the jihadists,

claiming he was a member of the

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so-called Islamic State, at the

jihadists rejected him. As a loner,

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Ashraf might have been easier to

control. But would the Israeli

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security forces really recruit a

jihadist? A man dedicated to the

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violent destruction of Israel? It

seemed an extraordinary risk. VC

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funds in nearby Tel Aviv feels like

a different world from Gaza. -- the

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seafront in nearby Tel Aviv. These

swimmers, joggers and holidaymakers

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seem to take their safety and

protection for granted. But I have

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come to meet a man whose job was to

guarantee this protection. For five

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years, he was the director of

Shinbet, Israel's secretive internal

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security services. He now heads the

foreign affairs and defence

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committee of the Israeli parliament,

the Knesset.

During those three

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years, 2001, 2002 and 2003, we have

lost 900 people. Mainly civilians.

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Mainly in suicide bombings. In many

cases we have succeeded in foiling

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attacks. So the number of people

getting killed as 900, then I

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wouldn't rule out that 9000 people,

if not more, are still alive, they

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don't even know that they were about

to be killed.

I asked him how easy

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it was to recruit reliable

informers.

When you are interested

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in somebody you tried to -- try to

map, will tie his skills? What are

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his weaknesses? What is his

usefulness? Otherwise you don't need

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him, you can take another one.

Would

you recruit a jihadist to kill a

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Hamas operative?

Everything is

possible in the fight against

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terrorism. Everything. There is one

very strong principle in my eyes. I

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always used to tell it to my people.

If you decide to become a terrorist,

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you'd better no that's the Israeli

Shinbet, military, police, never

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mind, it any Israeli, in one way or

another, you get to yourself in

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prison, or your grave in the

cemetery.

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In a Tel Aviv Park, I am eating a

reserve officer from Israeli

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military intelligence. We are

protecting his identity, and he has

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to be careful about what he says, in

order to avoid arrest. The role of

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his unit was to recruit informers

among the Palestinian population, in

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places like Gaza. And that meant

mass covert monitoring. Phones,

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e-mail and social media.

TRANSLATION: People's visor like an

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open book for us. We know so much

about people's personal lives. The

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romantic affairs, their sexual

affairs, their health problems,

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everything. So, if you want to gain

co-operation from people, it is

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obviously best if we can blackmail

this person. In some basic causes of

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Arabic in the unit, you learn

specific words, like different

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synonyms for homosexual in Arabic.

So you will tell this guy, let's

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say, for instance, you are luti, in

order to break him? Why?

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TRANSLATION: That is a possible

course of action, yes. You put this

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person in a lose lose situation.

Either way, his life is a great

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risk.

What it is not just sexual

orientation that makes people

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targets.

If someone's daughter has

cancer, for example, and he wants to

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get treatment in one of the Israeli

hospitals, which is known to have

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better treatment than Palestinian

hospitals, and if we know about it,

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maybe we can stop him and tell him,

OK, you can have this, but only if

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you co-operate.

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This woman knows all about this

coercion. Today, she is with her

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grandchildren. A year ago, their

mother needed urgent treatment for

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cancer. The Israeli authorities

granted her permission to go to a

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hospital in Jerusalem. It was six

o'clock and barely light went she

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arrived here at the Haaretz Crossing

one morning in January 20 17.

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The officers wanted information

about a man married to Khaloud's

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cousin. She said he was an olive

tree farm. -- farmer.

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She says her daughter was not able

to give any information about the

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man.

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But the Israeli authorities did not

allow Khaloud to board the bus.

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Three weeks later, WACA three died.

-- Khaloud died. The Israeli

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authorities told us that entry to

Israel is not conditional on

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providing information or

cooperation, and they denied any

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irregularities in their dealings

with Khaloud.

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Some Palestinians work with Israel

because they genuinely believe this

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is the right way to protect their

own people. I have come to a tiny

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village in the far south of Israel.

It is the home of a Bedouin

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community of around 20 families that

were moved from Gaza, where they had

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devoted their lives to working with

the Israeli state.

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Hassan is a community leader here, a

role he inherited from his father, a

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Bedouin shake from the Sinai Desert.

His father sided with the Israeli

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state after the nation was defeated

in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and

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Israel occupied his land.

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But is rarely counterterror

operations have also been far more

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aggressive -- Israeli. Over the last

15 years, more than 300 Palestinian

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militants have been targeted and

killed in Gaza. How often have

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collaborators helped in these

killings? In a side street, in a

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provincial Israeli town, I found

someone who might be able to tell

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me. We have to protect his identity.

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I could now understand why this man

wanted his identity concealed. He

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told me he had worked in Gaza for

the Israelis from the age of 17. But

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that was before he had to get out.

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This bird told me his testimony had

insured many Hamas cellmates

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remained behind cars for decades,

but it has taken its toll. -- behind

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bars.

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Normality, more than anything, is

what people in Gaza crave. But for

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most here, it is out of reach.

Constant scrutiny, suspicion and

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human need mean collaboration will

keep shaping and poisoning lives,

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and some will continue to work for

the enemy.

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Collaborating with Israel can mean prison or death in Gaza. So why do people do it? Some Palestinians say they're forced or blackmailed, others believe they're helping to prevent attacks on innocent people. Israel says recruiting Palestinian agents helps protect its citizens. For Our World, BBC Arabic's Murad Batal Shishani travels to Israel and Gaza to unravel a complex web of desperation and exploitation.