Middle East

Palestinian detainee dies in Israeli prison

Around 222 Palestinian detainees are estimated to have died in Israeli prisons since 1967

Aness Suheil Barghoti   | 26.11.2019
Palestinian detainee dies in Israeli prison


A Palestinian detainee has died in Israeli prison, a local NGO said Tuesday, blaming the death on medical negligence.

"Sami Abu Diak, 37, died in Assaf Harofeh medical center where he was transferred after his health has deteriorated," the Palestinian Prisoner Society said in a statement.

Abu Diak, from the West Bank city of Jenin, was detained by Israeli forces in 2002 and sentenced to three lifetimes in prison.

According to the NGO, Abu Diak suffered a medical error after undergoing a failed surgery at the Israeli Soroka hospital, where part of his intestine has been removed.

It went on to accuse the Israeli authorities of killing the cancer-stricken detainee.

"Israel started to kill Abu Diak even before he was diagnosed with cancer as he was subjected to medical negligence," it said.

There was no comment from Israeli prison authorities on the detainee's death.

Crime against humanity

The Palestinian Authority (PA) held Israel accountable for Abu Diak's death.

In a statement, the PA warned of "the continuation of the slow death of prisoners in Israeli jails" due to its policy of medical negligence, according to the official Wafa news agency.

Palestinian group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, blamed "Israel's policy of medical negligence" for the detainee's death, describing the policy as a "a crime against humanity and a brazen violation of all international law and norms".

Ahmad al-Tamimi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s executive committee, described the death as an Israeli crime against the Palestinians.

"We will take the case of Abu Diak and all other cases of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons to international organizations to punish Israel for its continuing crimes," he said.

Last week, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry called for an urgent international intervention to release Abu Diak and provide him with the necessary medical treatment.

Abu Diak's mother had also appealed to the world to put pressure on Israel to release her son.

Before his death, Abu Diak issued a letter, in which he called for allowing him to see his mother.

"To every person with conscience, I live my last hours and days. I want to be in my last days and hours beside my mother and my loved ones, and I want to die in her arms. I do not want to die while my hands and feet are cuffed and in front of a jailer who loves death and nurtures and delights by our pains and sufferings."

Around 222 Palestinian detainees are estimated to have died in Israeli prisons since 1967, five of them passed away this year.

Over 5,500 Palestinians are currently languishing in prisons located throughout Israel, according to Palestinian official figures.

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