Report: 16 Palestinian prisoners with cancer in Israeli jails suffer slow death

Days of Palestine - Ramallah

The Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies confirmed that 16 Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli occupation prisons suffer from a deadly cancer of all kinds, without the prison administration providing them with adequate treatment for their health condition except for painkillers, which poses a real danger to their lives, and exposes them to death at any moment.

In a report on the occasion of World Cancer Day, which falls on February 4 each year, the researcher director of the center, Riad Al-Ashqar, explained that the Palestinian prisoners with cancer in the Israeli occupation jails are at risk of their lives, due to their difficult health conditions and their lack of adequate treatment for their sickness; the Israeli occupation provides them with only what keeps them alive so that it does not bear responsibility for their deaths in prisons.

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Al-Ashqar pointed out that cancer is the first cause of the death of Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails due to deliberate medical negligence. 

Two Palestinian prisoners died last year, 2020, after suffering from cancer, who were “Kamal Abu Waer” from Jenin, and “Saada al-Gharabli” from Gaza City, and the Israeli occupation refused to release them due to the seriousness of their disease.

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Al-Ashqar said that the prisoners with cancer suffer double suffering, and they live between the missing of their families and the harsh conditions and violations of the occupation and depriving them of all their rights, and between dangerous of cancer for which there is no cure in the context of the occupation's disdain for the lives of prisoners and the not to provide them with the necessary treatment, in addition to the threat of the coronavirus, which infected hundreds of prisoners.

Al-Ashqar also said that the harsh conditions inside the Israeli occupation prisons are fertile ground for prisoners to suffer diseases, including serious ones, and from time to time one of the prisoners is discovered to have cancer, the last of whom was "Hussein Al-Masalma" from Bethlehem, where it was found that he had leukemia, and his health condition was critical.

Al-Ashqar revealed that there are two elderly prisoners of cancer who are over the age of 70, and they are the oldest prisoners, and they are Fouad Hijazi Al-Shobaki (82 years), who suffers from “prostate cancer” disease, and was transferred to the hospital to receive treatment more than once without benefit, and his health condition is constantly declining, and the Israeli occupation rejected dozens of appeals issued through various parties to end his suffering, as he spent 14 years of his rule 17 years.

He warned of the real danger to the lives of these prisoners with cancer, due to their difficult health conditions and their lack of adequate treatment for their sickness, which is reflected in those who were released from them as their effects followed them outside the prison, and in many cases it led to the death of the prisoners after their freedom, as the last of them was the freed prisoner "Muhammad Salah al-Din" from Jerusalem, who passed away 3 months after his release, he contracted cancer in the Israeli occupation prisons.

He called on all those concerned with the issue of Palestinian prisoners and the media to shed light on the suffering of prisoners with cancer in the prisons of the occupation and to demand their unconditional release before they died in prisons as a result of their infection with this deadly disease, especially in the context of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the Israeli prisons.

He also called on all international institutions and bodies, especially the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders, to form an investigation committee to find out the reason behind the increasing incidence of cancer in the prison population, and to work for their release, as death threatens them at every moment.

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