Former Palestinian prisoner Hussein Masalmah has died, seven months after being released from Israeli custody due to a leukemia-related illness. Palestinian officials have accused Israeli authorities of “medical negligence” in connection with his case.
Masalmah, 39, died Thursday at a hospital in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank.
According to groups of Palestinian prisoners, Masalmah had complained of severe abdominal pain while being held in Israel’s southern Naqab prison for two months before prison authorities agreed to transfer him to Soroka Hospital in Beer al-Sabaa, where he was diagnosed. with an advanced stage of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
The Committee for the Affairs of Detainees of the Palestinian Authority said in a statement on Thursday that Masalmah had been “martyred” by the “systematic medical negligence policy” of the Israeli authorities against him.
Similarly, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said it blamed the Israeli occupation for the death of a former prisoner, condemning what it said was a “crime of medical malpractice” long practiced against hundreds of sick prisoners. in Israeli prisons.
Thousands attended his funeral from Beit Jala Government Hospital in his hometown of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem.
Israeli authorities released Masalmah on February 15, 2021, about a year before he completed his 20-year sentence in 2002.
He was officially diagnosed with leukemia on January 10th.
After his release, Masalmah was transferred to Hadassah, an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem, where his health continued to deteriorate rapidly. He was taken to Ramallah Istishari Hospital a week ago, where he died.
There are 4,650 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons, including 200 children and 520 administrative prisoners held without trial or charge, according to the Addameer prison rights group.
Most Palestinians consider them political prisoners who are in detention because of Israeli military occupation or their resistance to it.
More than 500 Palestinian male and female prisoners in Israeli prisons are suffering from diseases, including dozens of others with cancer.
Palestinian rights groups have long condemned what they say is “deliberate medical malpractice” and have documented the deaths of dozens of sick Palestinian prisoners while in Israeli custody since 1967.
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