Medical Negligence Worsens Health of Two Prisoners in Israeli Jails

RAMALLAH, August 9, 2015 (WAFA) – The health condition of two Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Eshel prison have deteriorated due to the ongoing medical negligence by the Israeli prison authorities, according to the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs (CPA).

CPA said prisoner Ibrahim Abu Mustafa, 32, from the Gaza Strip recently had a minor heart attack, and developed a condition of arteriosclerosis (stiffness of the arteries), kidney stones, and blood pressure. Despite of this, the only medical treatment he received so far was OTC painkillers; he told a CPA attorney who was allowed to visit him.

Abu Mustafa has been in prison since 2003 and is sentenced to serve 13 years in jail.

Another prisoner, Hamdallah Sarma, 40, from Ramallah has been suffering from an increasingly worsening health. He has been experiencing recurrent headache, for which he only receives painkillers. A few days ago, Sarma was shot an injection in his thigh with an unknown content.

Meanwhile, CPA said the recent heat wave badly affected Palestinian prisoners in Nafha, Rimon, Naqab, and Eshel prisons in Israel. It said since these prisons are located in Naqab desert, the atmosphere there was extraordinarily hot with temperatures reaching some 48 degrees Celsius.

It said the severity of the weather condition in Israeli prisons tightens as the Israeli prison authorities deny the prisoners access to air conditioners and suitable health care for urgent cases, such as sun strokes.

According to human rights groups, medical negligence has been a systematic policy in Israeli jails.

There are some 1500 sick prisoners in Israeli jails, 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 illness and neurological disorder.

The prisoner rights group Addameer asserts that the Israeli Prison Service maintains a systematic policy of medical negligence toward Palestinian detainees.

The group reports that the “lack of natural sunlight and moisture in the prisons, along with a poor, imbalanced diet and restrictions on use of the prison yard for exercise, can lead to health problems such as skin diseases, extreme fatigue, anemia and weakness, kidney problems, rheumatism, dental problems and ulcers.”

The only prison hospital available for Palestinian prisoners is Ramle hospital, and only in certain circumstances Israel allows prisoners there for medical care. The prison hospital does not provide a good standard of healthcare.