The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee has confirmed that Palestinian political prisoner, Nasser Abu Hmeid, remains in a coma at the Barzilai Israeli medical center for the eleventh day, hooked to a respiratory machine, and is not responding to treatment.
Hasan Abed-Rabbo, the Committee’s spokesperson, said in a phone interview with WAFA Palestinian News Agency, Saturday, that Abu Hmeid’s condition is extremely serious, especially since he is suffering from an acute infection in the lungs, in addition to his previously diagnosed cancer which is also worsening due to the lack of specialized medical treatment.
Abed-Rabbo said the Committee filed an appeal with an Israeli court, Thursday, in addition to the initial appeal that submitted ten days ago, demanding detailed information about his condition, and asking to allow his family to visit with him again at the hospital, however, the court never submitted any response.
The Committee is also appealing for his release so that he can be moved to a Palestinian medical center in the West Bank, close to his family. Abu Hmeid is from the al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
He also said that, according to testimonies from other detainees who were with him before he was transferred to the medical center, Abu Hmeid stated initially suffering from severe chest pain and serious respiratory issues, however, the prison clinic provided a diagnosis that was not based on a lab test or any visit by a specialist, and at the time, the clinic said: “he had an ordinary infection, therefore, doesn’t need anything more than antibiotics.”
The detainees demanded transferring Abu Hmeid to a civilian medical center instead of the infamous Ramla prison clinic that lacks basic supplies and specialists, and only then was he diagnosed and was also found to have a mass in the left lung.
Even after that diagnosis was made, the detainee was kept in the prison clinic and was given antibiotics, until his condition worsened and posed a serious threat to his life.
After he was transferred to Barzilai, the physicians conducted various tests, biopsies, and X-rays that showed cancer in the lung.
The initial tests showed a benign tumor, however, a month later cancer cells were found spreading and he was supposed to start chemotherapy that only started at least twenty days after the diagnosis.
After receiving the first dose of chemotherapy, Nasser was sent back to prison before suffering intense pain and pressure in the chest and lungs and was moved back to Barzilai.
Abu Hmeid, 49, was abducted in the year 2002 and was sentenced to seven lifetimes and 50 years in Israeli prison.
He also has four brothers who are imprisoned by Israel and sentenced to life terms, in addition to a fifth brother who was shot and killed by the Israeli soldiers in the year 1994.
Israel also repeatedly demolished the family home, and for many years now, Israel has been preventing their mother from visiting with them.