Israel Accused of Negligence as Ex Palestinian Prisoner Dies after Long Struggle with Cancer

Hussein Masalma died at hospital due to complications resulting from Israeli medical negligence at the time he was in prison. (Photo: via Social Media)

A Palestinian ex-prisoner died Wednesday night in a Ramallah hospital after a long struggle with cancer, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The Prisoners’ Affairs Commission announced in a press statement that Hussein Masalma, an ex-prisoner, died at al-Istishari Hospital in Ramallah due to complications resulting from Israeli medical negligence and procrastination at the time he was in custody.

Masalma, a resident of the Bethlehem district town of al-Khader, was arrested by the Israel army in 2002 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, WAFA explained.

While in prison, Masalma’s medical condition deteriorated and he was subjected to medical negligence: according to the Commission Director, Munqeth Abu-Atwan, he was suffering from pains for over two months during which the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) procrastinated in hospitalizing him.

Abu-Atwan also said that the IPS held Masalma in the Naqab Prison, in southern Israel, and subjected him to systematic medical negligence, causing his condition to severely deteriorate; he added that, upon his admission to the hospital, Masalma already suffered from end-stage leukemia.

After serving 19 years in Israeli prisons, Masalma was released on February 14, when his condition became too critical as Israel denied him urgently-needed medical care and Israel’s negligence caused him inevitable slow death, WAFA reported.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) held the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for Masalma’s death as IPS maintains a systematic policy of medical negligence against Palestinian prisoners, according to WAFA.

WAFA also reported that the PPS urged legal and human rights groups, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to take serious and immediate action to ensure the release of all ailing Palestinians from Israeli prisons and dispatch an impartially, independently and neutrally constituted medical committee to examine the prisoners’ situation.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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