A high-ranking security official in the Palestinian Authority [PA] has revealed an "alarming increase" in the number of Palestinians working as agents for Israeli security bodies. He noted the existence of dubious organizations and extremely well-funded foreign entities with covert agendas and the direct objective of discouraging the nationalist spirit of the Palestinian youth.
On Sunday, April 22, the official Palestinian News Agency, which is affiliated to the PA, quoted a source as saying that there is a "satanic intelligence war being waged by Israel against the Palestinian people." The source also added that the number of Palestinians recruited by the Israeli Shin Bet between 2000 and 2006 far exceeds the number of those recruited from 1967 to 2000.
The source mentioned that his warnings regarding the rise in Palestinian agents of Israeli intelligence are based on statements previously made by Shin Bet officials and on security investigations carried out by the Palestinian Security Forces.
According to the source, there are various methods used by the Israelis to recruit Palestinians, such as capitalizing on their desire to travel and threatening to prevent them from traveling to study or receive medical treatment. Israelis also target Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons and use drugs in their recruitment. The most insidious method employed is the exploitation of the tough economic conditions in Occupied Territories alongside other deficiencies. "The Shin Bet is active in this field through various methods, mostly blackmail using work and trade permits, and monitoring the webpages that show job opportunities; it is well known that unemployment and the need for jobs are accompanied by hard psychological conditions, which constitute fertile ground for recruitment," he said.
He also asserted that this type of recruitment is a widespread phenomenon called 'e-recruitment', and is divided into two sub-categories:
1. Direct e-recruitment through official Israeli intelligence websites that are accessible by anyone
2. Indirect e-recruitment which is more dangerous and widespread. This takes place through social networking sites and it opens the door for the Shin Bet to enter homes without obstacle or censure.
These Israeli recruiters are professionals of deception and psychological methods; they master the Arabic language and use Arabic names and colloquial terms to detect points of weakness in their potential recruits and deceive them.