Days of Palestine

Sunday, January 29

Palestinian with 2 cancers struggling for survival in Israeli jail

Days of Palestine -

Alarm bells have been sounded over the deteriorating health condition of cancer-stricken Palestinian prisoner Bassam al-Sayeh in the Israeli Gilboa jail.

“Bassam’s health status has taken a serious turn for the worse”, said his wife Mona, who was recently banned by the Israeli occupation authorities from visiting her husband. 

Speaking with AlHurria News, Mona said her husband has been held in the Gilboa prison, where he has been subjected to mistreatment and daily crackdowns by the Israeli prison authorities over allegations that he was holding a cell phone.

Mona said she has failed to reach out to her husband, whom she said updated her, through a phone call, that he “was extremely exhausted”.

Sayeh’s family last visited him on January 16, 2019 to keep tabs on his health condition.

“I traveled abroad to stand by my sick sister before I received a phone call from Bassam who told me that he has been enduring excruciating pains”, said Mona. “The pain I’m going through, myself, is just beyond all words.”

“I’ve not seen Bassam since April 2018”, said Mona. “I received a permit to visit him prior to my departure. I hope I can visit him next month.”

“When I first talked to Bassam his voice seemed over-exhausted. He could neither stand on his feet nor walk. Now he can barely move and go to the toilet using a walker.”

Aged 44, Bassam has been locked up at the Gilboa prison, after he was transferred from the Ramla jail. He has reportedly been subjected to abject conditions of captivity.

Bassam has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma and blood cancer, along with critical infections in his lung and cardiovascular disorders.

He has been held without trial in Israeli prisons for the third consecutive year. The military prosecution demanded that he be sentenced to two life-terms and 30 years in prison over charges of involvement in the Itamar anti-occupation attack of 2015, which led to the death of two settlers residing in illegal settlement outposts built on occupied Palestinian land.