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Ofer prisoners ready to strike if cancer patient not treated

July 30, 2009 9:19 A.M. (Updated: July 31, 2009 10:28 A.M.)
Hebron - Ma'an - Prisoner in Israel Hamza Tarayra cannot eat and can barely speak with the large tumor in his mouth that went undiagnosed for months after Israseli prison authorities denied him medical assistance, recently released prisoner Raed Al-Atrash said Wednesday.

Al-Atrash held a public appeal alongside other released detainees from Israel’s Ofer prison, the group demanded Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, human rights associations and the Red Cross intervene and insist Tarayra receive proper medical treatment.

“He can only swallow the water they give him,” Al-Atrash said of Tarayra’s condition, “he has lost a lot of weight and is in very bad condition.”

Tarayra asked several times to see medical professionals after noticing the lump in his mouth, but was only offered pain relievers by prison authorities, an earlier report from the Prisoner’s Center said.

Palestinian detainees at Ofer blamed the prison administration for the deterioration of Hamza’s health and said they will go on hunger strike unless the situation is remedied.

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