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Palestinian prisoner transferred to hospital as group accuses doctors of neglect

July 31, 2017 5:34 P.M. (Updated: July 31, 2017 5:34 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs warned on Monday of the deteriorating health of a Palestinian prisoner, accusing Israeli authorities of intentional neglect.

Sami Abu Diak, a 34-year-old resident of the village of Silat al-Dhahr in the northern occupied West Bank, was recently transferred by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) from Rimon prison to the Soroka hospital.

The committee said that Abu Diak had previously undergone surgery to remove tumors in his digestive system more than a year ago, during which 80 centimeters of his large intestine were removed.

Following the surgery, Abu Diak suffered from an infection, and his health has been worsening ever since, the committee said, accusing doctors at Soroka of intentionally neglecting his health.

Abu Diak has been imprisoned by Israel for 13 years, and is serving three life sentences.

The prisoner’s health has been a cause of concern for years, as he has been diagnosed with renal and pulmonary failure, as well as issues with his liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.

In 2015, the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) stated that poor conditions in Israeli prisons were suspected to have caused numerous health issues for a large number of Palestinian prisoners.

The medical neglect of Palestinian prisoners was a central issue during a 40-day prisoner hunger strike earlier this year, which also included demands for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention -- imprisonment without charge or trial -- among other demands for basic rights.

However, while the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs announced that 80 percent of the hunger strikers’ demands were met, IPS has repeatedly stated that it did not engage in negotiations with the prisoners.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,300 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of June, most of whom are being held inside the Israeli territory in contravention of international law.

Addameer has reported that 40 percent of the male Palestinian population has been detained by Israeli authorities at some point in their lives.
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