September 22, 2021: Hussein Masalma, 39, died from Leukemia that went untreated when he was imprisoned by Israel for 19 years. He was only was recently released after his condition seriously deteriorated, and died at a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah, in central West Bank.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said Masalma, from the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, was released from an Israeli prison in February of this year when his condition became extremely serious after he was denied the right to receive the urgently-needed specialized medical treatment for his Leukemia.
The PPS added that the detainee was first moved to Hadassah Israeli medical center, before being sent, a week ago, to the Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah.
The PPS held Israel fully responsible for his death, especially since he was subject to medical neglect while in prison, and only started receiving treatment when his condition became life-threatening.
Masalma started suffering from complications and sharp pain in late 2020, and it took Israel more than a month to send him to the clinic of the Negev Desert detention camp and was only moved to an Israeli hospital when his condition became very serious, where he was diagnosed with End-Stage Leukemia.
The Palestinian was taken prisoner by the Israel army in the year 2002 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He spent 19 years in prison before he was released due to his serious medical condition.
His release came after various appeals, deliberations, and delays by Israeli courts before his lawyer filed an appeal with the Israeli High Court.
In an interview with the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), in February of this year, Masalma stated that he has been suffering for two years and that the Israeli physicians didn’t render an accurate diagnosis to his condition.
“For more than two years I have been suffering, and they couldn’t diagnose my condition currently,” he said, “It is not just me, there are so many detainees suffering from serious conditions.”
The PPS said that many Palestinian political prisoners, especially those who have been held captive by Israel for more than 20 years are facing serious health conditions, including cancer.
It called on various regional and international human rights and legal groups, including the World Health Organization, to act on ensuring the release of all ailing Palestinian detainees from Israel prisons and to send an independent medical committee to look into these cases.
Masalma was from the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem in occupied West Bank. Source: IMEMC