60% of Prisoners in Israeli Jails Suffer Chronic Diseases

RAMALLAH, January 13, 2015 (WAFA) – The Palestine Detainees Studies Center said around 60% of the Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails, suffer from chronic diseases, a number of whom died in detention or after being released due to the severity of their cases caused by a deliberate medical negligence policy.

Head of the center, Rafat Hamdoneh, said that the large number of sick prisoners is a result of psychological pressure, physical torture during interrogation, denial of access to regular or periodic tests to monitor prisoners’ health conditions, and the absence of medical crews as the prison administration continues to prevent medical staff from accessing the prisons.

He stressed that the Israeli prison administrations’ systematic policy of medical negligence further worsened their health condition, in addition to suffering from severe malnutrition.

“Carcinogenic signal blocking devices are still rampant in Israeli prisons. [These devices] emit an unknown radiation that causes prisoners to develop various chronic diseases on a daily basis,” reported the Palestinian Media Watch.

The Russian paper Pravda published a libelous report in which Israel was accused of injecting dangerous viruses into Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Israel was also previously accused of using Palestinian prisoners to test new drugs, reported the Missing Peace official website.

Hamdoneh stressed that the presence of Israel’s Dimona Nuclear Power Plant in the Negev Desert close to Israeli jails is a major cause behind these diseases.

The Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs Committee said that the health status of several prisoners in Asqalan Israeli prison has severally deteriorated due to deliberate medical negligence.

The ministry highlighted the case of prisoner Hussain Sawadeh, who has been in Israeli detention since 2002 and sentenced to 14 years in jail. It said that Sawadeh, suffering from cancerous tumors in the neck and a heart disease, was transferred to jail without receiving the necessary treatment.

He was only given a blood thinner medicine and pill for his blood pressure without further tests.

As for the case of prisoner Ibrahim Abu Mustafa, 32 from Gaza who suffers from various diseases, including kidney stones, heart, stomach and neurological problems, the ministry said that he depends on pain killers and sleeping pills to cope with the pain. He takes around 38 different pills a day.

Meanwhile the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) Tuesday made an urgent appeal to international organizations, particularly the International Red Cross, to promptly intervene to save the life of prisoner Mohammad al-Masri, whose health condition is in grave danger.

Al-Masri, sentenced to 24 years in jail, of which 11 have passed, suffers from acute haemorrhage following a surgery he underwent as a result of severe infections in his intestines.

The PPC further called on international organizations, and signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention to intervene and release all prisoners.

A previous report issued by the ministry on Saturday said that prisoners in Israeli jails, estimated at around 6500 female and male prisoners, including more than 350 minors.

There are around 1500 sick prisoners distributed across Israeli jails, who are suffering from chronic diseases; they all face a systematic policy of medical negligence by the Israeli prison administration.