Days of Palestine

Wednesday, May 31

Gilboa prison escapee Yaacoub Al-Qaderi awaits cancer test result in solitary isolation

Qaderi's lawyer learned that he was diagnosed with a thyroid gland tumor in late June. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]
M.Y | DOP -

Palestinian prisoner Yaacoub Al-Qaderi, one of the six Gilboa prison escapees awaits the analysis result of his thyroid gland to determine whether he has cancer while he is in solitary confinement, the Palestinian High Commission for Prisoners’ affairs told The New Arab.

The 50-year-old prisoner from Bir Al-Basha village near Jenin served two perpetual sentences in Israeli jails since 2002 for militantism during the second Intifada.

His name returned to the spotlight last September after he and five Palestinians staged a dramatic escape from the Israeli high-security Gilboa prison. He was recaptured four days later in northern Israel.

“We learned that the Israeli prison medical staff took a sample from Yaacoub’s thyroid gland two weeks ago, during his solitary confinement that continues to this moment,” Ameen Shouman, the head of the Palestinian Commission for Prisoners’ Affairs, told The New Arab.

“Neither the family nor his lawyer were informed of his health condition, and since he is isolated, it is nearly impossible to know anything about his current state,” Shouman added.

Qaderi and the rest of the Gilboa prison escapees were put under solitary confinement upon their recapture in September. In late May, Qaderi’s mother died at the age of 82, which Qaderi learned about through the radio, according to his family.

“When Yaacoub heard the news of his mother’s death, he asked to have a phone call to speak with the family,” Arkan Qaderi, Yaacoub’s nephew, told The New Arab. “When Israeli authorities refused, he declared a hunger strike.”

Qaderi suspended his hunger strike in mid-May, after 16 days. By the end of the month, his lawyer learned that he was diagnosed with a tumour in the thyroid gland.

“The last visit he received from his siblings was two months ago when they said that he was in a very bad condition and in need of medical attention,” remarked Arkan Qaderi.

In recent years, several Palestinian prisoners have developed chronic diseases to fatal stages in Israeli jails, which has led human rights groups to accuse Israel of medical neglect.

In 2019, the 36-year-old prisoner Sami Abu Diak died of intestinal cancer in an Israeli prison, where he had spent his last 17 years.

A year later, 46-year-old Kamal Abu Waar died of throat cancer in an Israeli prison after 17 years of captivity. A year after that, Hussein Masalmeh, who had spent 19 years in Israeli prison, was released after months of struggle with cancer in Israeli custody. He died shortly after his release.


Source: The New Arab