Issa Qaraqe’, Palestinian Legislator and former head of the Palestinian Prisoner Society stated on Tuesday that all Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons and detention facilities have announced a one-day hunger strike after a detainee died of medical neglect.
The detainees will strike on Wednesday after holding the Israeli Prison Administration responsible for the death of Jamal Al Saraheen, who died at the Negev prison, of medical neglect.
Qaraqe’ stated that clashes took place between dozens of detainees and soldiers at the Negev detention camp after they heard the news of the death of Al Saraheen.
Head of the Hebron office of the Palestinian Prisoner Society, Amjad Al Najjar, stated that the prison administration at the Negev detention camp cancelled all visitations until further notice. Al Saraheen, 38, from Tarqoumia village, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, died at the Soroka hospital in Be’er Shiva; the prison administration refused to transfer him to hospital until after his health condition had sharply deteriorated.
He was taken prisoner on May 18 2006, and was detained under administrative detention orders without trial. He is the father of one child.
Ziad Abu Ein, deputy Minister of Detainees, held the Prison Authorities responsible for the death of Al Saraheen, since the authorities knew of his sickness but did not attempt to provide him with the medical care and attention that he needed.
Abu Ein demanded the formation of a probe committee to investigate the circumstances of Al Saraheen’s death.
The Bethlehem office of the Prisoner Society also held Israeli authorities responsible for the death of Al Saraheen and said that Israel defies international and humanitarian laws by not providing the detainees with the needed medical care.
“Medical neglect is a war crime practiced by Israel”, Qaraqe’ stated, “There are at least 900 detainees who need immediate medical care, and in most cases they need hospitalization.
Qaraqe’ added that several detainees are suffering from cancer, high blood pressure, paralysis and other disabilities, and some were shot and injured by military fire during the arrest.
The Society expressed concern over the rising number of detainees who have died in Israeli prisons as a result of torture and medical neglect, and demanded an immediate probe. A total of 14 detainees have died in Israeli prisons and detention facilities since the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada in late September 2000. At least 174 Palestinian detainees have died in Israeli prisons since Israel occupied the Palestinian territories in 1967.