Nasser Mohammad Abu Hmeid

December 20, 2022: Nasser Mohammad Abu Hmeid, 50, died at an Israeli medical center from cancer that went untreated professionally during his years of imprisonment by Israel.

The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee confirmed that the cancer-stricken Palestinian detainee, Nasser Abu Hmeid, imprisoned by Israel and serving several life terms, has died at an Israeli medical center.

The Committee said Nasser Abu Hmeid, 50, was moved from the Ramla prison clinic to Assaf Harofeh Israeli medical center after suffering serious complications and died at the hospital.

Abu Hmeid’s condition started declining in August of last year, 2021, when he complained of pain in the chest and was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Israeli surgeons removed about 100 centimeters from the area of his tumor and moved him back to Asqalan prison despite his urgent need for chemotherapy and other treatment.

He was left without treatment for some time before the doctors decided he urgently needed chemotherapy and other treatment, but the prison authority kept delaying his transfer to a hospital and denied him the potentially life-saving treatment.

Shortly before his death, Nasser was able to undergo more chemotherapy treatment, but his cancer has already spread and become terminal.

Over the past several months, many human rights and legal groups filed appeals with Israeli courts demanding Nasser’s release to receive treatment at a Palestinian medical center close to his family, but Israel denied all appeals.

Nasser was serving seven life terms and additional fifty years in prison; he was abducted for the first time in the year 1987 and was imprisoned for four months; he was abducted again and sentenced to two and a half years.

Nasser was abducted for the third time in 1990 and was sentenced to life in prison, but was released as part of direct Palestinian-Israeli talks; however, not long after, the army abducted him before he was sentenced to several life terms.

Nasser is also the brother of Abdul-Mon’em Abu Hmeid, who was killed by the Israeli army on May 31, 1994, in addition to Nasr Abu Hmeid, who is serving four life terms in Israeli prisons, Sharif, serving four life terms, Mohammad, serving two life terms and thirty years, and Islam who is serving a life term and eight years in prison.

The Abu Hmeid family home was demolished by Israel five times, and his mother was barred from visiting her imprisoned sons, especially Nasser, for several years; their father also died without seeing his sons.

It is worth mentioning that Nasser was born in 1972 in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip before his family moved to the West Bank.

The Ad-Dameer Prisoner Support And Human Rights Association has reported that Abu Hmeid passed away from advanced lung cancer while held captive in Ramleh Prison Clinic—a carceral clinic known for its systemic human rights abuses enacted toward sick and ill Palestinian prisoners. Abu Hamid’s passing is thus a direct consequence of the Israeli Prison Service’s ongoing and deliberate practice of medical negligence.

Ad-Dameer said: “The Israeli occupation authorities blatantly violate international norms and conventions related to protecting and providing care for Palestinian prisoners experiencing illness.

International humanitarian law guarantees the provision of necessary medical care to patients. Articles 76 and 91 of the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulate the right of sick detainees to receive necessary medical care, maintain a healthy diet, and have access to necessary medical examinations.

Despite such laws, statistics compiled by human rights organizations indicate that the number of sick Palestinian detainees and prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons is currently around 600, with over 200 prisoners with chronic diseases and 24 prisoners diagnosed with cancer and other serious illnesses. Since 1967, with the death of Nasser Abu Hamid, the total number of Palestinian prisoners who have passed away in Israeli occupation prisons has reached 233—74 of whom have passed away as a result of medical negligence.

Compounding their crimes of medical neglect, Israeli occupation forces continue to withhold the bodies of the now-eleven Palestinian prisoners who have been martyred. By withholding bodies, Israel inflicts severe psychological pain on the deceased person’s family. As such, Nasser’s family does not know when his body will be released for proper burial. Further, Nasser has four brothers—all of whom are also currently held in Israeli occupation prisons and are subjected to the same harsh conditions of detention and medical neglect he experienced prior to his passing. To add to the family’s suffering, Nasser’s family’s house was demolished several times—most recently in 2019.

By granting constant impunity to Israel, the international community has failed to protect Nasser Abu Hamid and allow him a humane and dignified passing at home surrounded by his family and loved ones. Yet Nasser, at the end of his life and in the face of the decades of violence he had experienced, remained true to his principles of resilience. Nasser refused his legal counsel’s advice to submit a pardon to the Israeli Military Commander in the West Bank to consider his release—instead choosing to pass without submitting to the demands of the Israeli Occupation Forces. In these difficult times, Addameer stands in solidarity with Abu Hamid’s family.”

Seventy-four of the deceased detainees died due to medical neglect after Israel denied them the right to adequate and professional medical attention; one of them, Sa’diyya Farajallah, 68, had diabetes and high blood pressure, diabetes, a heart condition, and various chronic illnesses, and was taking various medications before she was taken prisoner and was denied the right to medical treatment.

Israel holds at least 4700 Palestinians captive, including 150 children and 33 women. About 600 detainees are sick, including 24 who suffer from cancers and tumors of various degrees.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said Israel is refusing to release 600 ailing detainees, including 200 who have chronic conditions that require constant medications and follow-up and 24 who have various forms of cancer and need specialized medical treatment.

Israeli continues to refuse the release of the corpses of ten Palestinians who died in its prisons, including Anis Doula from Qalqilia, who died in the year 1980, Aziz Oweisat, who died in 2018, Fares Baroud, Nassar Taqatqa, and Bassam Sayeh, who all died in 2019, Sa’ad Al-Gharabily and Kamal Abu Wa’ar who died in 2020, Sami Al-Armour who died in prison in 2021, Daoud Zobeidi and Maher Mohamamd Turkmal who died this year 2022.

Besides the 233 who died in Israeli prisons, hundreds of Palestinians died after their release from various diseases they suffered while in prison and were not given the proper treatment.

The number of Palestinian detainees in 23 Israeli prisons, detention camps, and interrogation facilities is at least 4700, including 150 children, including 835 held under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders without charges or trial.

Among the Palestinians who are held under Administrative Detention orders are four children and two women.

Nasser was from the Al-Am’ari refugee camp near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Source: IMEMC, Ad-Dameer

Hussein Masalma

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