Sick Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Jails Denied Medical Treatment

RAMALLAH, January 31, 2015 (WAFA) – Sick Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails continue to suffer from the prison administrations’ systematic policy of medical negligence, further worsening their already precarious health conditions, Saturday said the detainees and ex-detainees affairs committee.

Palestinian prisoners are held in overcrowded cells that lack basic health standards, including the infestation of insects and rats, extreme cold and lack of heating methods, and wastewater leakage into their cells, which further aggravates their already poor conditions.

The committee’s lawyer Mo’taz Shqirat, highlighted the cases of three prisoners, whose health conditions are continuingly deteriorating due to the Israeli prison administrations’ failure to provide them with the necessary medical treatment.

Prisoner Mohammad al-Arqan, a resident of Hebron sentenced to life in Rimon Israeli prisons, suffers extremely difficult health conditions; he was diagnosed with liver cancer almost 13 years ago, during which the prison administration did not allow him to undergo the necessary surgery to eradicate the tumor during its early stages, further worsening his case.

Al-Arqan’s health condition has extremely worsened during the past two months; he reported that he gets no relief, not even temporarily, with any painkillers, holding the prison administration’s deliberate medical negligence fully responsible for his rabidly deteriorating health condition.

Meanwhile, prisoner Khaled al-Qadi, a resident of Gaza sentenced to 14 and a half years in Rimon Israeli jail, reported that he is in an urgent need of medical help as his immune system is extremely low and is unable to move.

Al-Qadi was diagnosed with hepatitis (B) virus, which he said, was transmitted to him by the prison’s dental clinic in March 2014. He said that he has been left untreated since then, noting that he was transferred to the prison clinic almost two weeks ago but was denied treatment by the doctor who claimed to have been busy at the time.

Regarding the case of sick prisoner Ali Hassan from Qalqilia, sentenced to life imprisonment and seven years in Israeli Asqalan jail, he suffers from various health problems, including difficulty breathing and problems in his second and third vertebrae in the spinal column.

Hassan has also been denied medical treatment by the prison administration, further worsening his back pain, which traveled down his legs and rendered him unable to walk without the help of crutches.

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 illness and neurological disorder.

According to Addameer human rights association, “Israeli authorities responsible for prisoners regularly neglect their duties to provide medical support for Palestinian prisoners in their care, as required by the Geneva Conventions.”

“Medical problems are widespread, and range in severity from chest infections and diarrhea to heart problems and kidney failure. Treatment is often inadequate and is delivered after substantial delays. Often medication is limited to over-the-counter pain killers.”