Some of the Sinai Desert’s Bedouin are using their new found freedom to turn to crime. This report reveals how they are using their autonomy to torture and murder Israel-bound refugees for hostage ransoms and even body parts.
Thousands or refugees from Eritrea and Sudan cross the Sinai Desert in search of a better life in Israel, but many are subjected to a worse fate at the hands of profiteering Bedouin gangsters. Mohammed Al Ramadan was tortured for 40 days whilst held ransom for $30,000: “They burnt me with fire, they were beating me with a whip.” However, the Bedouins’ impunity in the Sinai desert has fostered a trafficking trade with consequences far more brutal than a hefty ransom: “They trade in body parts, they slaughter people”. In fact, forensic evidence suggests that many of the African victims have had their kidneys, livers and lungs removed with professional precision. A deadly clash between rival tribes also implies that controlling the refugees route is a lucrative business. With the security forces reluctant to curb this profitable busines there is fear the phenomenon can only get worse.