Three Hunger Strikers in Israeli Jails Denied Medical Check-Up

RAMALLAH, July 21, 2015 (WAFA) – Two hunger striking Palestinian prisoners and a Jordanian in Israeli jails have been denied medical check-up and healthcare by the prison authorities, Tuesday said Issa Qaraqe, Chairman of the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee (PAC).

The three prisoners are Mohammad Allan from Nablus, Udai Steiti from Jenin, and Abdullah Abu Jaber, a Jordanian citizen.

Allan has been on hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention, without indictment or trial, since June 14; Steiti has been hunger striking since June 29, also against administrative detention; while Abu Jaber just began a hunger strike on Monday in hopes to be sent back to Jordan after spending 15 out of 20 years in prison.

Qaraqe warned of the deteriorating health condition of prisoner Allan and the other two, saying he holds the Israeli authorities responsible for their lives.

Under administrative detention, prisoners are held without charge or trial and for an indefinite and renewable period of time.

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, “Israel’s use of administrative detention blatantly violates the restrictions of international law. Israel carries it out in a highly classified manner that denies detainees the possibility of mounting a proper defense. Moreover, the detention has no upper time limit.”

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy, which violates international law.

In the meantime, the medical condition of a Palestinian prisoner from Gaza in Israeli Eshel prison has significantly deteriorated due to deliberate medical negligence, an attorney with the PAC told WAFA.

He said the Israeli prison authorities have deliberately denied medical care to prisoner Zamel Abu Shallouf, 34, from Gaza who is suffering various health troubles, including partial paralysis, weight loss, and low heart beats.

Medical negligence has widely been reported as a systematic policy by the Israeli Prison Authority.

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.

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.”