Update: Mr. Ferwana has informed the IMEMC the Red Cross managed to visit the detainee in the Israeli Kaplan Medical Center and informed his family that Sa’ad is in a very critical condition, hooked to a ventilator.  

The Israeli Prison Service has not yet officially informed the Palestinians or the Red Cross of the death of a Palestinian detainee in prison, while the current information reveals that the detainee is likely clinically dead, but so far, there has been no official confirmation, despite various conflicting reports.

Former political prisoner, researcher and the head of the Studies and Documentation Committee of the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Ferwana, has informed the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) that the Israeli Prison Service has not informed any party that the detainee, Sa’adi al-Gharabily, 75, has died, and only announced he is in a critical condition, or possibly clinically dead.

Ferwana added that his department is still awaiting an official confirmation about the detainee’s condition, and held Israel fully responsible for his life, especially amidst the lack of proper medical treatment to the detainees.

“We can only hope that al-Gharabily is alive, and we wish him a full recovery; we also hold Israel fully responsible for what happens to him,” Ferwana told the IMEMC, “All that we know, especially since Israel is not providing much information, is that the detainee is still alive, but in a very critical condition.”

It is worth mentioning that al-Gharabily is from the Gaza Strip, and was taken prisoner in the year 1994, before he was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of participating in attacks against Israeli occupation targets.

Ferwana voiced an appeal to media outlets to refrain from publishing unconfirmed reports, that are largely conflicting and only cause more agony and suffering to the families of the detainees.

His statements came after various media outlets, journalists and activists, published reports, or posts, claiming the detainee has died in prison, even though no official confirmation was ever made.

“The issue of the detainees is a humanitarian cause; it is not a subject for media outlets to deal with it as breaking news, competing on who publishes first before all others,” Ferwana told the IMEMC, “Media outlets and social media activists must be aware of the facts, and should never publish such reports before they are officially confirmed or denied.”

“It is already always difficult to get any news from the Israeli prisons, detention centers, and interrogation facilities. Israel’s lack of cooperation with human rights groups and the Red Cross, makes getting such news nearly impossible,” Ferwana said, “I call on all individuals, media outlets, officials, institutions, and political factions to refrain from making statements and publishing hasty reports without official confirmations. We also need to always respect the families, and what they go through in these conditions.”

“A martyr is not a number, is not a new breaking news item; we need to wait; we need to confirm before we make official statements and issue press releases,” Ferwana concluded, “to those who just want to publish, those who claim to know the full truth, if I could whisper in their ears, I would say please have compassion and respect to the feelings of others, respect the people, respect their minds, and then, they will respect you back.”