One of two Palestinian sisters from Gaza caught attempting to smuggle explosive material inside medicine containers into Israel last week as they were travelling to Jerusalem to receive cancer treatment was freed on Friday. The other sister remains in Israeli custody on suspicion of collaborating with terror organisation Hamas.
Israel’s Shin Bet Security Agency announced last Wednesday that the two sisters, Basema Atallah and Ibtessam Eid, aged 55 and 57, possessed explosives that were “sent by Hamas and it is believed that they were meant to be used to carry out attacks in Israel in the near future”.
Ragheb Atallah, the husband of Basema, said that his wife had undergone cancer treatment in Jerusalem more than ten times since July 2016 and had never experienced trouble before.
He stated last Thursday: “Someone asked them to take a bottle of medicine for a patient there, the bottle was closed and they did not know what was inside”. He continued that he was unaware his wife may have been smuggling illegal items into Israel.
Throughout 2016, 30,000 people from Gaza alone received medical treatment in Israel, with over 7,000 tonnes of medical supplies transferred to hospitals and clinics in the territory.