Pravda accuses Israel of "injecting dangerous viruses into Palestinian prisoners"

Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda has published an account from a Palestinian who claims Israel is injecting viruses into prisoners

by The Commentator on 20 April 2013 11:21


A Russian tabloid with close links the state-owned energy giant Gazprom has published what some a referring to as a "modern blood libel" in claiming that Israel is injecting viruses into the blood of Palestinian prisoners. 

The claim made by the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper comes after a Palestinian released from an Israeli jail made the accusation without providing evidence.

Pravda and Press TV have now both reported the matter as fact, with Rania Saqa stating that Palestinian prisoners suffer from serious and chronic diseases such as bladder cancer and liver disorders as a result of Israeli torture. Rania "revealed" that Israel injects prisoners with dangerous viruses before releasing them, a claim that has so far come with no evidence. She also added that "the prisoners are subjected to the most cruel tortures."

The Palestinian Minister for prisoners and former prisoners in the West Bank told the Maan News Agency that there is no confirmed information about what Al-Saqqa said and an Israeli official accused the Russian newspaper Pravda of spreading “sick, racist lies”.

“This is a racist, lowly and repulsive lie based solely on its authors’ sick imagination,” Yigal Palmor, a senior spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told JTA. “Those who know Fascist propaganda will easily recognize its distinct characteristics in this crude lie spread by Pravda.”

Rania was jailed for attempting to stab an Israeli officer at the Qalandiya checkpoint. She has given media interviews previously and at no point did she refer to injections in this manner. In another interview for Al Quds, Rania said she needs cash to be treated in Italy but said nothing about Israel giving her diseases. Just a few days ago, she suddenly announced she has money to travel to Italy for treatment, but not enough for living expenses. By then, according to one source, "her story about Israel injecting prisoners was starting to gel."

Critics claims that, "El Saqa has grasped the basic concept that if you want to get international media coverage - and money - blaming the Palestinian Authority (PA) is not going to get you anywhere. You have to blame Israel."

Pravda was founded by the Communist Party in Russia and is currently owned by Media Partner, which in turn is owned by ECN Group, an energy company led by Grigory Berezkin, who has close links to Gazprom. Iran's Press TV, the only other outlet that has carried the report as factual, is owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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