Detainees’ committee Appeals to Save Life of Sick Palestinian Prisoner Held in Israeli Jail

RAMALLAH, April 18, 2015 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs Committee Saturday submitted an urgent appeal to help release Palestinian prisoner Iyas al-Rifai, from  Israeli Eshel prison, as he is facing death at any moment due to his critical health condition.

Prisoner al-Refai, who has already served eight years and a half out of his total imprisonment sentence of 11 years, suffers from intestinal cancer and severe infections, necessitating an urgent surgery to remove the tumors.

In a report, the committee stressed that al-Refai was transferred by the Israeli prison administration to al-Ramla hospital numerous times due to severe deterioration in his health condition, however, he was not provided with the necessary medical exams and treatment.

Following a visit to Soroka medical center last week, al-Refai was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, however, the doctors at the center refused to operate on him, alleging that his health condition is too critical. Al-Refai was sent back to jail without providing him with the much needed surgery to save his life.

As a result of medical negligence, al-Refai has lost 25 kilograms and his health status is rapidly worsening.

Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, stated that the number of sick prisoners detained in Israeli jails have reached 1500, of whom 80 prisoners are suffering from serious health problems and do not receive the necessary treatment; they suffer from malignant diseases, paralysis, and disabilities, in addition to cases of mental illnesses and neurological disorders.

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.

According to the committee, prisoners detained in Israeli jails are held in cells that lack basic health standards, highlighting the infestation of insects and rats and lack of proper heating infrastructure.