Working for the Enemy.


Script 34 final





Gaza frontier drone

It's been called the world's largest open prison






Wall gun-turret shot






Penned in by Israeli walls, barbed wire and gun turrets









The 1.8 million people living in Gaza have little chance of ever leaving


Passport checks etc



As a foreign journalist, I can come and go


But for Palestinians to see relatives, have essential medical treatment, or just visit the outside world, Gazans need the express permission of the Israeli authorities




Gun turrets etc in Eres








They asked her questions, like “you want to be treated, Khulood, you want chemotherapy? You have to talk.”




Negev desert




Abu Hassan



This is the story of the desperate choices people have to make


If someone from us collaborated with the government, it was to prevent an attack or to stop a person from doing an attack.



Tel Aviv beach






It's the story of how the Israeli state seeks to protect its citizens


Better the tears of the mothers of a thousand terrorists, than the tears of my mother









And of those who now live tortured by shame


We didn’t withhold anything from the State of Israel. Some of us have blood on our hands.


 Murad walking along Eres




This is a film about Palestinians who collaborate with the Israeli state - those who would work for the enemy






Hamas investigation video





In May 2017, Hamas in Gaza released this film to a shocked public..


Hisham Al Aloul


I call on all who cooperate with the Israeli occupiers to turn back to God



Confessions in Hamas video


Abdulah Nashar





Abu Layla








Three Palestinian men had apparently been caught working for Israel in Gaza


I started collaborating in 2010 while applying for permission to travel and see my wife in the West Bank.



Abdullah Nashar hadn’t seen his wife for 3 years before he was recruited



In 2004 someone from abroad started chatting online to me. He told me he believed in extremist ideology and embraced Jihad



Ashraf Abu Layla was a militant drawn to jihadis opposed to Hamas in Gaza.




more Hamas video upsot



Mazen Fuqaha street posters, Gaza, Murad walking





The three men are confessing to involvement in an Israeli plot to kill a senior leader of Hamas' military wing, al-Qassam Brigades.


Mazen Fuqaha


He said shoot him and finish him by shooting in the head and chest. I said okay.



Fuqaha archive










Fuqaha was one of those behind a series of bombings in 2002, killing and wounding Israeli citizens.


He received nine life sentences for murder.


But was released in a controversial prisoner exchange in 2011.









Zahar: 07:52






Mahmoud al-Zahar co-founded Hamas. He helped broker the release of prisoners.



Mazen pained (find a better translation, this is unclear) Israel before he was imprisoned. Releasing him was like breaking their own neck


They thought that Mazen was active in the West Bank while based in Gaza. 09:10: Either some Palestinian told them, or they had intelligence.


Interviewer: 09:15: And was he active?


Zahar: 09:16: I don’t know.



Murad on trail of event etc




Someone seemed to think Fuqaha was still active, though


On 24 of March 2017, Ashraf Abu Layla received his instructions


The officer called me on Friday evening and told me to go to the Tal al Hawa district in Gaza


I entered the street where the Al Quds Hospital and Mazen Fuqaha’s building stand


Hamas video / CCTV



And Murad on trail, drone etc


Hamas officials say this is Ashraf, caught on cctv as he walks past the hospital

Into the yard

And towards his target’s parking lot


Murad aerial, PTC



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



Gaza / Fuqaha funeral pics


Press TV report


Hamas had lost one of its key assets


They picked up three suspects, who confessed. The Hamas authorities executed them as traitors, and as a warning to others.





Abdulah Nashar


The intelligence officers said we were important to them, that they would never abandon us


They made us feel like they’re our guardians and are looking out for us.


Gaza / Murad[PE3]



We cannot verify the testimonies in the video


The Hamas authorities were unwilling to share any of their evidence or investigative material.


But how could Israel persuade Palestinians to betray their own people? And how many do this?

Into prison


PTC - Working for Israel security forces is a matter of taboo here among Palestinians. I’m on my way to a prison to speak to an inmate who knows a lot about this subject




At this Gaza prison a quarter of those incarcerated are convicted collaborators


This inmate - I’m calling him Ibrahim - runs a self-help group for those who have worked for the Israeli state.




Check Arabic, he is not saying what is in the script, you may have made a cut. He does not use the word ‘criminal’.

Inmate: 00:17: People should understand that no-one is born a criminal. Most people who fall into this trap – 90% or more – are victims. 00:53: We in Gaza are suffering from a very harsh siege. Everything is lacking: healthcare, basic needs.








Ibrahim told me that Israeli recruiters prey on the needs of people in Gaza


02:16: They use financial problems to put pressure on some young men. To start with, they say they’re not asking for anything serious. Just a word. And then you fall into a bigger trap.



Murad: 04:10: Who are they targeting?


Inmate: Firstly it’s those in need of medical treatment. This is the biggest problem because it faces us all. Secondly it’s people with financial problems. And thirdly those who are vulnerable and turn to drugs.




Most of those imprisoned here for collaboration have been prosecuted for simply giving information to the Israelis.


Ashraf Abu Layla went much further.

Murad on computer



How might the Israeli security forces have found and recruited the man who shot Mazen Fuqaha?


It doesn't take much to discover that the Fuqaha murder confession wasn’t the first time Ashraf was noticed


He was active in the violence that had brought Hamas to power here in 2007


PTC on balcony


It turns out that Ashraf Abu Layla was a member of Hamas security forces.

He was heavily involved in fighting against Hamas opponents.

Then, back in 2007, he started to adopt more radical views.




In 2007, Ashraf kidnapped and murdered the owner of a Christian bookshop in Gaza


When Rami Ayyad’s body was recovered,  it was disfigured by multiple stabs and gun wounds



Murad in car


PTC in car





Jihadists aren’t welcome with Hamas authorities here in Gaza. But I have managed to contact one of them who is very influential among Jihadi circles. I hope he will be able to tell me more about Ashraf Abu Layla

Mysterious shots around car etc



Did Ashraf share his plans with other radicals here?


Jihadis have been arrested in Gaza, and even killed. The Hamas authorities have attacked their mosques


Was Ashraf motivated by revenge?


Murad emerges from meeting with jihadi



So I met him. He doesn’t want to be filmed, but he told me very interesting stuff.

Ashraf Abu Layla approached the jihadists claiming he’s a member of the so-called Islamic State. But the jihadists rejected him.


More mysterious pics / Ashraf









As a loner, Ashraf might have been easier to control.


But would the Israeli security forces really recruit a jihadi - someone dedicated to the violent destruction of Israel?


It seemed an extraordinary risk


Tel Aviv beach etc



The sea-front in Tel Aviv feels a different world from Gaza


These joggers, swimmers and holiday-makers seem to take their safety and protection for granted



Shin Bet video


Pedestrians, writing, boy bouncing ball etc



What do you think you see here?






But the real question is…


What don’t you see?


Shin Bet video



But as this Israeli Security Agency promo tells its viewers, safety comes thanks to the constant vigilance of the security services


Shin Bet video / more beach shots



It’s about Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency which is supposed to have recruited the killers of Mazen Fuqaha.

More Shin bet video



In the film, Shin Bet agents are aided by high tech surveillance, resources - and of course, informers.


Only with Palestinians giving information are the agents in the film able to prevent a devastating terror attack.

Boy drops ball etc / disappearing agents


Murad enters building for Dichter






In reality. Shin Bet is just as mysterious as its agents in the film


It doesn’t speak to the public


Communication with the media is via an impersonal email address




But I'm coming to meet a man who headed the organisation in one of its most critical phases


Avi Dichter now heads the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Knesset






If I just take the second intifada, during three years - 01, 02, 03 - we've lost 900 people. Mainly civilians, mainly in suicide bombings. In many cases we've succeeded to foil those terror attacks. So if the number of people got killed is 900, I wouldn't rule out that 9000 people are still alive, they don't even know they were about to be killed.










I asked Dichter how easy it was to recruit reliable informers


When you’re interested in someone, you try to map - what are his skills, what are his weaknesses, but above all, what are his strengths,. Otherwise you don't need him. You can take another one,







Q 0256: Would SB recruit a jihadi to target someone from Qassam?


AD: Everything is possible in this fight against terrorists - everything. There's one very strong principle in my eyes. I always used to tell it to my people.


Better the tears of the mothers of a thousand terrorists, than the tears of my mother (in Arabic[ )


if you decide to become a terrorist, then you better know that the Israeli SB, military Mossad, police, doesn't matter - an Israeli. In one way or another, you reach your cell in prison, or your grave in the cemetery.

Whistleblower Aaron in park



In a Tel Aviv park, a reserve officer from Israeli military intelligence tells me more.


He’s talking because he has doubts about the morality of how the security forces operate


We are protecting his identity, and he has to be careful about what he says in order to avoid arrest.


I’ll call him Aaron.




when you're having a military regime over millions of people, you have to have a strong kind of intelligence over any kind of person that is a threat to this kind of regime, so this means many innocent people who have nothing to do with this violence per se.









The role of Aaron's unit was to recruit informers among the Palestinian population in places like Gaza


And that meant mass covert monitoring - of phones, email, and social media


WB: People's lives are like an open book for us. We know so much about people's personal lives, their ... romantic affairs, their sexual affairs, their health problems - everything





If you want to gain cooperation from people, it's obviously best if we have something to use to extort, blackmail this person.





WB: in some basic courses of Arabic in the unit you learn specific words like different synonyms for homosexual in Arabic, like ‘luty’


Q: So you will tell this guy, for instance, you are luty, in order to break him, or why?


WB 0632: That's a possible method of action, yes.


0961 0216 WB: You practically put this person in a lose-lose situation. Either way, his life is in great risk.






But it’s not just sexual orientation that can make people targets



WB: if someone's daughter has cancer. And he wants to get treatments 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 you cooperate

Back to Gaza drone



Salwa and granddaughter in kitchen





Salwa al-Saedni knows all about cooperation.


Today she is with her grandchildren


A year ago, their mother Kholoud needed urgent treatment for cancer





The Israeli authorities granted her permission to go to a hospital in Jerusalem


Driving to Eres




It was 6 o’clock and barely light when Salwa and her daughter Kholoud arrived here, at Eres Crossing, one morning in January 2017


 Salwa interview at Eres

 00:08: It was a very difficult day. She was tired. We entered the waiting hall and sat for about 4 hours. 00:30: Then we were called and taken into the interview room.

01:09 They asked her, “do you want to be treated, Kholoud? You want chemotherapy? You have to talk.”

Crossing / border shots



The officers wanted information about a man married to Kholoud’s cousin. She said he was an olive tree farmer.




He told her, yes, but he plants rockets. He plants rockets with Hamas. 04:15: So said, if you know that he plants rockets, what’s that got to do with me?’ I’m sick and need to be treated. I want to be able to raise my kids.





Salwa says her daughter was not able to give any information about the man.

 Salwa: 04:26:





He told her: ‘There’s the bus you need’. Only a glass screen separated us from it.



But the Israeli authorities did not allow Kholoud to board the bus



04:46: Fate was against her. We had to turn back






Three weeks later, Kholoud died.


The Israeli authorities told us that they do not condition entry to Israel on providing information or cooperation


They denied any irregularities in their dealings with Kholoud



07:22 Many people in Gaza need treatment and they should be treated. Khulood paid the price with her life. Those inside [Gaza] are not guilty. I swear they’re not. All they need to cross is this fence. 07:42: It separates them from living a good life with their family. This fence. This fence



Tel Arad










Some Palestinians work with Israel because they genuinely believe this is the right way to protect their own people.


I’ve come to a tiny village in the Negev Desert in the far south of Israel


It’s an entire Bedouin community that has been moved from Gaza, where they had devoted their lives to working with the Israeli state



Hassan shows photos on wall



This is my brother Abdel Raouf, he was older than me. He was killed by Palestinians. [I: Really, why?] 00:31: They claimed that he was a collaborator


Sitting with Hassan


Hassan is the community leader for the dozens of families that live here - a role he inherited from his father, a Bedouin sheikh from the Sinai Desert



I: 00:45: So this is your father, the one wearing black sunglasses.

M: God bless his soul. This was the Israeli commander in charge of the Gaza Strip and Northern Sinai


M: 01:24: His eye was injured during a mission for the state.

I: 01:33: What kind of service?

M: 01:34: A mission with the secret intelligence.

I: 01:39: So he was unable to see?

M: 01:40: He lost his eye completely.







Hassan’s father threw in his lot sided with the Israeli state after Arab nations were defeated in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and Israel occupied his land



Abu Hassan



He decided to work with them, so that he and his people could live. 02:50: But to fight them? He wouldn’t be able to. If 14 Arab countries weren’t able to, do you think my father was going to? No. He worked it out in his brain. He decided to shake hands with the Israelis, the Israeli state, and to support it, help it, and also make people help it, and make the state help the people.





I: 08:59: How do you feel when you or your father are called a traitor or a spy?


Find me one person who can say “you imprisoned me or my father or my brother or so and so.” 02:49:  If someone from us collaborated with the government, it was to stop an attack or to stop a person from doing an attack. 03:01: But never to imprison someone or to ruin someone’s life. Only imprison someone who wanted to attack in a bus. My brother could be in the bus, my mother could be in the bus, my sister could be on the bus, my cousin could be on the bus.

























Abu Hassan’s community is safe, deep in Israel.


But Israeli counter-terror operations have also been far more aggressive


Over the last 15 years, more than 300 Palestinian militants have been assassinated in Gaza


How often have collaborators helped in these killings? How often have they even carried them out?


In a side-street in a provincial Israeli town, I’ve found someone who might be able to tell me. We have to protect his identity.






Need to mask his face when he turns left, because he could be identified.

04:03: We didn’t withhold anything from the State of Israel. Some of us have blood on our hands.


Interviewer: What do you mean, hands stained with blood?


04:18: They worked with the state to murder people. Some of them killed well known Palestinian militants.


Interviewer: You did this?


04:39: My hands are stained with blood.


Interviewer: Why?


04:51: I did thing that so my hands are stained with blood. I was sentenced to death.


Interviewer: Where are you sentenced to death?


I’m sentenced to death.


Interviewer: Where?


In Gaza. They say I took part in a murder.


Interviewer: Murdering who?


05:01: The terrorists


Murad, close-ups etc



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


When I became well known all over Gaza, I came to Israel and continued working locally


Murad: Where locally?


02:44: In various places. I worked for 10 years in prison.


Murad: In prison. What were you doing?


02:54: Sharing cells with inmates, pretending I was a prisoner too.


Murad: What are people like this called?


03:01: Birds. You extract information from them and then hand them over to the interrogator.









Need to blur him, he could be identified.



Over the past 20 years Israel has held many thousands of Palestinian detainees


And all of the jails have their birds - working to secure long sentences for militant and terrorist suspects


This bird told me his testimony had ensured many Hamas cell-mates remained behind bars for decades


But it’s taken its toll



11:10: I regret every minute I spent working for these people. I regret it.


11:31: It completely destroyed us. I live on stress relief medication. I see a therapist for all the terrible memories I have.


Murad: Like what?


11:46: Memories. Nightmares. My past is haunting me.  My past is haunting me.


People like us did not lead normal lives.




Gaza beach etc











Normality - more than anything - is what Gazans crave


But for many most here, it's out of reach


Perpetual scrutiny, suspicion and human need mean collaboration will

persist in shaping and poisoning lives


And some people will continue to work for the enemy.








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