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.
It is being called the world's
largest open prison. The Gaza Strip.
Penned in by walls, barbed wire and
gun turrets. The 1.8 million people
living here can only get into Israel
with special permission. And even if
their lives depend on it, they have
to enter through here. The Haartez
Crossing, the main gateway into
Israel. -- Haaretz. This is the
story of the desperate choices
people have to make.
It is the story of how the Israeli
state seeks to protect its citizens.
I wouldn't rule out that 9000 people
are still alive, they don't even
know they were about to be killed.
And of those who now lives tortured
by shame and regret.
This is a film about Palestinians to
collaborate with the Israeli state.
Those who would work for the enemy.
In May 2017, the ruling Hamas
government in Gaza released this
video to a shocked public.
Some Palestinian men had apparently
been caught working for Israel in
Gaza. They were explaining how they
Each had been cleverly targeted
according to their needs and
beliefs. They were then recruited by
Israeli agents to kill a senior
leader of the Hamas military wing.
He was one of those behind a series
of bombings in 2002, killing and
wounding Israeli citizens. He
received a nine life sentences for
murder. Bartee was released in a
controversial prisoner exchange in
2011. -- but he was. Mahmoud is one
of the founders of Hamas. He had
known him for years.
But somebody seemed to think that's
Fuqaha was still active. This man
received his instructions on the
24th of March, 2017. He outlined the
plan in the Hamas confessional
Hamas officials say that this is
Ashraf, caught on CCTV as he walks
past the hospital, into the yard.
And towards his target's parking
lot. Fuqaha had spent a family day
on the beach. He was alone in his
car. The gunman followed him,
knocked on his window, and shot him
five times. Ashraf's job was done.
Hamas had lost one of its key
assets, and there was an out pouring
of grief at Fuqaha's funeral. Shoot
-- soon after, Ashraf and his
suspected accomplices were arrested.
In their confessions, they warned
the audience not to fall for Israeli
Days after these confessions were
filmed, all three men were executed
as traitors, and as a warning to
others. We cannot verify the
testimonies in the video. Hamas
would not share there evidence. But
collaborating with Israel is not
such a rare thing here. Working for
Israel, the security forces, is a
matter of taboo here among
Palestinians. I am on my way to a
prison to speak to an inmate who
knows able to bow to the subject. --
knows a lot about. According to the
guards at this Palestinian jail, a
quarter of the inmates are convicted
collaborators. This inmate runs a
support group for prisoners who have
worked for the Israeli state.
Ivory and told me that Israeli
recruiters prey on the needs of
people in Gaza. -- Ibrahim told me.
The Israeli authorities told us they
do not try to recruit people and is
vulnerable situations. -- in these
vulnerable situations. Most of those
in prison for collaboration have
been prosecuted for simply giving
information to the Israelis. But
Ashraf, and others convicted of
killing Mazen Fuqaha, went much
further. Hamas says they committed
murder. What could make a
Palestinian like Ashraf kill a
leading Hamas militant? And how much
the Israeli security forces have
found and recruited such a man. The
Fuqaha murder confession was not a
first-time Ashraf was noticed. He
was active in the violence which are
daft attempt on -- Hamas took power
here in 2007. -- which erupted after
Hamas to power. It turned out that
Ashraf was a member of the Hamas
security forces. He was heavily
involved in fighting against Hamas
opponents. In 2007, he started to
adopt more radical views. In 2007,
Ashraf kidnapped and murdered the
owner of a Christian bookshop in
Gaza. When his body was recovered,
it was disfigured by multiple stab
wounds and gunshot wounds. Ashraf
was a brutal killer. I wanted to
find somebody who could explain his
Jihadist two are not welcomed hereby
Hamas authorities in Gaza, but I
have managed to contact one of them
who is very influential in these
circles. -- jihadists are not. I
hope he will be able to tell me more
about Ashraf. Did Ashraf share his
plans with other radicals here?
Jihadists had been arrested in Gaza,
and even killed. The Hamas
authorities had attacked mosques.
Was Ashraf motivated by revenge? I
am hoping my contact will give me
some answers. So, I met him. He
didn't want to be filmed. But he
told me very interesting stuff.
Ashraf approached the jihadists,
claiming he was a member of the
so-called Islamic State, at the
jihadists rejected him. As a loner,
Ashraf might have been easier to
control. But would the Israeli
security forces really recruit a
jihadist? A man dedicated to the
violent destruction of Israel? It
seemed an extraordinary risk. VC
funds in nearby Tel Aviv feels like
a different world from Gaza. -- the
seafront in nearby Tel Aviv. These
swimmers, joggers and holidaymakers
seem to take their safety and
protection for granted. But I have
come to meet a man whose job was to
guarantee this protection. For five
years, he was the director of
Shinbet, Israel's secretive internal
security services. He now heads the
foreign affairs and defence
committee of the Israeli parliament,
During those three
years, 2001, 2002 and 2003, we have
lost 900 people. Mainly civilians.
Mainly in suicide bombings. In many
cases we have succeeded in foiling
attacks. So the number of people
getting killed as 900, then I
wouldn't rule out that 9000 people,
if not more, are still alive, they
don't even know that they were about
to be killed.
I asked him how easy
it was to recruit reliable
When you are interested
in somebody you tried to -- try to
map, will tie his skills? What are
his weaknesses? What is his
usefulness? Otherwise you don't need
him, you can take another one.
you recruit a jihadist to kill a
possible in the fight against
terrorism. Everything. There is one
very strong principle in my eyes. I
always used to tell it to my people.
If you decide to become a terrorist,
you'd better no that's the Israeli
Shinbet, military, police, never
mind, it any Israeli, in one way or
another, you get to yourself in
prison, or your grave in the
In a Tel Aviv Park, I am eating a
reserve officer from Israeli
military intelligence. We are
protecting his identity, and he has
to be careful about what he says, in
order to avoid arrest. The role of
his unit was to recruit informers
among the Palestinian population, in
places like Gaza. And that meant
mass covert monitoring. Phones,
e-mail and social media.
TRANSLATION: People's visor like an
open book for us. We know so much
about people's personal lives. The
romantic affairs, their sexual
affairs, their health problems,
everything. So, if you want to gain
co-operation from people, it is
obviously best if we can blackmail
this person. In some basic causes of
Arabic in the unit, you learn
specific words, like different
synonyms for homosexual in Arabic.
So you will tell this guy, let's
say, for instance, you are luti, in
order to break him? Why?
TRANSLATION: That is a possible
course of action, yes. You put this
person in a lose lose situation.
Either way, his life is a great
What it is not just sexual
orientation that makes people
If someone's daughter has
cancer, for example, and he wants to
get treatment in one of the Israeli
hospitals, which is known to have
better treatment than Palestinian
hospitals, and if we know about it,
maybe we can stop him and tell him,
OK, you can have this, but only if
This woman knows all about this
coercion. Today, she is with her
grandchildren. A year ago, their
mother needed urgent treatment for
cancer. The Israeli authorities
granted her permission to go to a
hospital in Jerusalem. It was six
o'clock and barely light went she
arrived here at the Haaretz Crossing
one morning in January 20 17.
The officers wanted information
about a man married to Khaloud's
cousin. She said he was an olive
tree farm. -- farmer.
She says her daughter was not able
to give any information about the
But the Israeli authorities did not
allow Khaloud to board the bus.
Three weeks later, WACA three died.
-- Khaloud died. The Israeli
authorities told us that entry to
Israel is not conditional on
providing information or
cooperation, and they denied any
irregularities in their dealings
Some Palestinians work with Israel
because they genuinely believe this
is the right way to protect their
own people. I have come to a tiny
village in the far south of Israel.
It is the home of a Bedouin
community of around 20 families that
were moved from Gaza, where they had
devoted their lives to working with
the Israeli state.
Hassan is a community leader here, a
role he inherited from his father, a
Bedouin shake from the Sinai Desert.
His father sided with the Israeli
state after the nation was defeated
in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and
Israel occupied his land.
But is rarely counterterror
operations have also been far more
aggressive -- Israeli. Over the last
15 years, more than 300 Palestinian
militants have been targeted and
killed in Gaza. How often have
collaborators helped in these
killings? In a side street, in a
provincial Israeli town, I found
someone who might be able to tell
me. We have to protect his identity.
I could now understand why this man
wanted his identity concealed. He
told me he had worked in Gaza for
the Israelis from the age of 17. But
that was before he had to get out.
This bird told me his testimony had
insured many Hamas cellmates
remained behind cars for decades,
but it has taken its toll. -- behind
Normality, more than anything, is
what people in Gaza crave. But for
most here, it is out of reach.
Constant scrutiny, suspicion and
human need mean collaboration will
keep shaping and poisoning lives,
and some will continue to work for
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.