Israel Deprives Three Sick Prisoners of Medical Care

RAMALLAH, February 23, 2016 (WAFA) – The health condition of three Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have deteriorated due to medical negligence by Israeli prison authorities, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

PPS said prisoner Ibrahim Abu Mustafa, 36, from Khan Younes, incarcerated in Eshel prison, has been suffering from multiple health problems, including heart convulsions, elevated cholesterol, peptic ulcer, gallstones, and dental pain, in addition to other neurological problems. PPS said Abu Mustafa, who has spent 13 years out of his 15-year sentence, takes at least 38 pills a day.

Another prisoner, 56-year-old Samir Abu Ne’meh, incarcerated in Rimon prison, suffers from multiple health issues, including a herniated disc in the neck and lower back, and is in dire need of surgery.  Abu Ne’meh has been detained since the year 1986.

The third prisoner, Jawad Abu Qarie, 45, from Ramallah, is experiencing an unexplained tooth loss; most of his teeth has fallen out, causing him chewing difficulties.

Meanwhile, PPS said the rooms of Palestinian detainees in Etzion detention center, near Bethlehem, have been flooded with rain water since Monday in light of the cold front that has hit the region.

Jacqueline Fararjeh, an attorney with PPS, said the detainees are mulling going on a hunger strike to protest their unbearable living conditions, including delaying their prison transfer.

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

According to B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights center, “At the end of Dec. 2015, 6,066 Palestinian security detainees and prisoners were held in Israeli prisons, 343 of them from the Gaza Strip.”

There are at least 1500 sick prisoners in Israeli jails, of whom prisoners suffering from malignant diseases, paralysis, and disabilities, in addition to cases of mental illness and neurological disorders.

The prisoner rights group Addameer asserts that the Israeli Prison Service maintains a systematic policy of medical negligence against 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, leaving the sick to depend on over-the-counter painkillers.