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Former Palestinian prisoner dies after battle with muscular dystrophy

Aug. 16, 2016 7:24 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 16, 2016 7:24 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- A former Palestinian prisoner who served 19 years in Israeli custody died on Tuesday after a painful struggle with muscular dystrophy, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said.

In a statement, the group said Naim Shawamrah, 46, died at al-Ahli hospital in Hebron.

Shawamrah, a resident of the village of Dura south of Hebron, was released in early 2014 as part of an agreement with Israel in conjunction with US-mediated peace talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Shawamrah was one of some 104 Palestinian prisoners held since before the 1993 Oslo Accords to be released as part of the deal, which was later suspended following the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers in June, which led to a crackdown in the occupied West Bank and a devastating Israeli offensive in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Shortly following his release from prison, Israel prevented Shawamrah from traveling to Jordan to receive medical treatment for the muscular dystrophy he developed in 2013 while in prison.

Rights groups have widely condemned Israel for its medical negligence of Palestinians in its prisons, which Addameer has called a "deliberate policy of neglect."

Earlier this month, a number of Palestinian rights organizations established a committee to follow the cases of Palestinians in poor health being held in Israeli prisons.
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