Belgium trade union boss: Palestinian children are killed for their organs

University lecturer and senior executive of one of Belgium’s main trade unions, Robrecht Vanderbeeken, in a column claimed Israel poisons Palestinians and kill their children for their organs.

The column received attention last week as the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities, a Belgium state watchdog on racism, received a complaint against Vanderbeeken for his claims.

Vanderbeeken, who is the cultural secretary of the ACOD trade unions and a philosophy of science scholar affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, had his column published in August on the left-wing news site De Wereld Morgen.

In the column, Vanderbeeken wrote that the population of the Gaza Strip is being starved to death, poisoned, and children are kidnapped and murdered for their organs.

Following the complaint, De Wereld Morgen edited parts out of the column. However, the website stuck to the assertion that Israel kidnapped and murdered Palestinian children and used organs belonging to the Palestinians its forces killed.

This is not the first time that Israel has been linked with harvesting organs of the Palestinians it killed.

In November 2015, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, in a letter to the UN secretary general said the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces were returned with missing corneas and other organs, further confirming past reports about organ harvesting by the occupying power.

A year earlier the New York Times reported that transplant brokers in Israel had pocketed enormous sums of money. The report suggested that Israel had played a disproportionate role in organ trafficking.

However, the first report of organ thefts by Israel was revealed in 2009 by Sweden’s most highly circulated daily Aftonbladet.

The report sparked an angry reaction from Israeli officials and Jewish leaders with the publication of an unverified account that Israeli troops harvested organs from Palestinians who died in custody.

In response to a row created between Israel and Sweden over the report, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a professor of anthropology at the University of Californa-Berkeley, brought to the fore an interview with Dr Yehuda Hiss, the former head of Israel’s forensic institute, conducted in 2000.

In the interview, Dr Yehuda Hiss revealed Israeli pathologists at the institute would harvest skin, corneas, heart valves, and bones from the bodies of Palestinians and others often without permission from relatives.

Israel maintains it does not arbitrarily kill Palestinians or any other population group and that it punished violations of international law by its troops.

Source: Palestine Monitor