Ramallah, Occupied West Bank – A Palestinian prisoner has died in Israeli custody despite longstanding calls for his release and accusations of medical malpractice by Israel after he was later diagnosed with cancer. A year ago.
The Palestinian Authority says 50 years old Nasser Abu Hmaid died on Tuesday morning at the Israel Assaf Harofeh hospital near Tel Aviv.
He was abruptly transferred on Monday afternoon from the Ramla prison clinic to the hospital after his health deteriorated severely and he fell into a coma.
A general strike began Tuesday morning with shops, schools and businesses closed across the occupied West Bank in memory of the death of Abu Hmaid, including Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Jenin.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that Abu Hmaid was “martyrdom due to his policy of intentional medical negligence” and blamed the Israeli occupation.
Abu Hmaid was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in August 2021 after the Israeli authorities delayed the provision of medical examination and treatment, based on Palestinian prisoners’ rights groups.
His family, groups of prisoners and officials have then launched a campaign to call on Israel to release him and warned that he was facing a “slow death” from medical negligence. The family repeatedly said that they wanted their son to die beside them.
Back in September, after months of chemotherapy, Assaf Harofeh . hospital said in a medical report it could do nothing more to save his life.
The hospital offered to release Abu Hmaid immediately, saying he was “in the last days of his life”. However, he was taken back to Ramla prison hospital and remains jailed.
His body has yet to be given to Palestinian officials, who say they are monitoring his records at the highest level, so a funeral could be held.
In a statement on Monday, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Association (PPS) said Israeli authorities “did not consider our request for the release of the prisoner because of his difficult health condition”.
Dozens of Palestinians joined a protest organized by political parties on Tuesday morning in the besieged Gaza Strip, protesting the death of Abu Hmaid and Israeli medical malpractice.
Protesters chanted slogans calling for the release of ailing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.
The senior leader of the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad movement, Khaled al-Batch, said the Israeli occupation forces were “fully responsible for the assassination of Abu Hmaid” at the rally.
“The policy of continued medical malpractice is a form of slow killing for our inmates. This will not happen without cost or punishment,” he warned.
The Palestinian Authority and the International Committee of the Red Cross organized an emergency visit for his mother and brother to the hospital on Monday night, but he was in a coma.
Abu Hmaid is a former leader of the armed wing of the Fatah political party, the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade. He comes from a refugee family living in the al-Amari camp in Ramallah in the heart of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
He has been imprisoned since 2002 and sentenced to life in prison for his role in attacks carried out during the second Palestinian Intifada uprising.
Palestinian officials and human rights groups have long and condemned document an “Israeli deliberate medical malpractice policy”.
Israeli prison authorities frequently delaying emergency check-ups and surgery for Palestinian prisoners for many years, group of prisoners.
Rights groups don’t have regular specialists, except for dentists, and “over-the-counter pain relievers are used as a remedy for most health problems.” said in a joint report to the United Nations.
In 2020, four Palestinian prisoners died in Israeli custody.
In November 2021, Palestinian prisoner Sami Umour, 39, died after a month delay about an urgently needed surgery for serious heart problems he was having.
Since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, More than 70 Palestinian prisoners were killed from medical malpractice in Israeli prisons, according to PPS.
Most Palestinians consider those held in Israeli prisons to be political prisoners being held because of the Israeli military occupation or their resistance to it.
There are about 4,760 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. This number includes at least 500 people with various diseases, as well as more than 20 people with cancer.
Meanwhile, about 820 prisoners are in “administrative custody,” a controversial policy that allows Israel to detain detainees without charge or trial.
Additional reporting by Maram Humaid in Gaza.