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Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Palestinian clerics: Israel trying to export AIDS to PA

Published: 12.05.06, 00:46

Palestinian clerics: Israel trying to export AIDS to PA

In honor of Int'l AIDS Day, conference on disease held in
Ramallah. Both Christian and Muslim religious figures preach
morality as safeguard against disease, claim Israel trying to
infect Palestinians with AIDS in order to damage society.
Palestinian AIDS patient gives testimony, warns against promiscuity

by Ali Waked,7340,L-3336134,00.html

In honor of International AIDS Day, a conference was held Monday
in Ramallah on ways to prevent spread of the disease in the
Palestinian Authority, where there are 80 listed infected people.

Religious figures who participated in the conference cautioned
that one of Israel's aims is to damage the Palestinians by
spreading promiscuous norms that are likely to negatively affect
residents of the PA.

"Israel is trying to hurt the Palestinian Authority and the
Palestinian people also by means of exporting AIDS, drug
trafficking, promiscuous norms, and making prostitution legal,"
warned president of the sharia religious court in the PA, Sheikh
Taissir Tamimi, and spokesman of the Greek Orthodox Church,
Archbishop Atalla Hanna.

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According to the religious figures, religious belief is the key
safeguard against the relatively limited spread of the disease in
the Palestinian Territories and the most surefire tool for
fighting the disease.

Archbishop Hanna said that Israel is conducting a battle against
Palestinian societal values.

"A few weeks ago, the Israelis wanted to organize a parade of
sexual deviants who wanted to demonstrate for their right to be
sexual and moral deviants all in order to damage our values and
the holiness of Jerusalem. These people wanted to hold the parade
in Jerusalem of all places," he said.

Hanna also said that he had read in one of the Palestinian
newspapers about a young AIDS-infected Israeli woman who,
according to the article, arrived in Jerusalem in order to infect
young Palestinians with the disease. The archbishop called the
Palestinian public to beware of such dangers.

Two religious figures emphasized that people with AIDS should not
be ostracized "because there is no certainty that they were
infected through immoral acts or forbidden sexual relations
outside of marriage, but may have been infected for other
reasons. Therefore, they should not be excommunicated."

Heads of the religious court emphasized that all the monotheistic
religions forbid participating the activities that result in AIDS
– "prostitution and homosexual relations."

A Palestinian AIDS patient's story

The speaker who touched the conference attendees the most was
Abed, a Palestinian AIDS patient, who revealed his story.

In a conversation with Ynet, Abed said that he was infected while
working in the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf. "I
worked well and lived well, and like every young person in their
30s I partied. Just as I planned to return to the (Palestinian)
Territories in order to marry and start a family, I did an AIDS
test and the results came back positive," he said.

According to him, the most difficult moment in dealing with the
disease was when he couldn't donate blood to his sister who had
become sick with cancer. "Even though we have the same blood
type, I, of course, couldn't donate. I ran out of the hospital in
order to avoid that meeting with her. My sister passed away a
short time later," he recalled.

As a result of the disease, Abed lost vision in one eye, and his
vision in the other eye is severely impaired. On the treatment of
Palestinian society, he said: "I never felt as though they treat
me like an exile. There were only two instances – once when a
Palestinian intelligence officer asked me if I had infected other
people, and another time when a hospital clerk warned a barber
not to accept me out of concern that he would be infected with
the disease. But since then, my life is normal, except for
dealing with the question why I don't get married."

Today, Abed is trying to explain to other young people in the PA
that is forbidden to have sexual relations outside of marriage.
"Maintain your integrity, maintain the purity of your life and
choose your partner. Because no other contraceptive helps not to
be infected by the disease."

In the past few days, a news release was published in the
Palestinian Authority about an AIDS-infected young man who
arrived at the hospital in Ramallah and was met with
disparagement. According to the report, he was shoved into one of
the corners of the hospital and the doctors visibly showed signs
of disgust and fear.

Those attending the conference, both religious figures and
doctors, hope that the event will help Palestinians understand
the dangers of AIDS and will increase awareness of the disease.

Ali Waked

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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