Lawyer: Abu Hamdiyeh Given Painkillers, Antibiotics for Cancer

Israeli prison doctors refused to treat Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who died in Israeli custody on Tuesday, and gave the cancer sufferer painkillers and antibiotics, his lawyer said.

Rami Alami visited Abu Hamdiyeh in Eshel prison on March 12, and a record of his visit reveals the prisoner’s long struggle with Israeli authorities for medical treatment.

During the visit, weeks before his death, Abu Hamdiyeh said he had only been given painkillers to treat his cancer. He could not sleep, stand or walk, and prison doctors had refused his request for medicine to improve his appetite.

The lawyer said Abu Hamdiyeh appeared tired and weak and could hardly speak. Another detainee had to relay what Abu Hamdiyeh was saying as he was barely audible.

Abu Hamdiyeh told the lawyer that he went to prison doctors in Ramon jail in August with severe throat ache and swollen lymphatic and salivary glands. The doctor prescribed him antibiotic medication without doing any medical tests.

He was later given a flu shot which increased his chest pain, but the doctor again refused to investigate his condition.

Eventually, in October, the prison approved a hospital visit, but it was delayed twice.

When Abu Hamdiyeh was finally taken to Soroka Hospital in December, prison authorities mistakenly informed doctors that he had an eye problem, and Abu Hamdiyeh returned to Ramon prison without undergoing any tests.

He returned to the hospital on Jan. 10, having lost 14 kg, and a biopsy revealed cancer cells in the throat that had spread to surrounding glands.

A week later, Abu Hamdiyeh returned to the hospital with acute throat pain and difficulty breathing and swallowing. He underwent an endoscopy procedure but still received no treatment.

On Jan. 24, he was sent to Ramle prison clinic for a chest radiogram, and then returned to Ramon jail. He found the journey very difficult and was given a painkiller, he told the lawyer.

On March 10, Abu Hamdiyeh was transferred from Ramon jail to Eshel prison, which is closer to Soroka Hospital where he underwent tests on March 12.

When Abu Hamdiyeh asked for the test results, he was told they had been sent to doctors in Eshel prison.

Abu Hamdiyeh was admitted to Soroka Hospital on March 30 and died there a week later.

(Ma’an –

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