Palestinian political prisoners confront occupation – and illness

motasemraddadPalestinian political prisoners suffering from severe illness continue to resist and struggle despite the severity of their condition, reported Palestinian lawyers and human rights organizations. For example, the following cases:

Ibrahim Bitar, a Palestinian political prisoner from Khan Younis in Gaza, has seen serious deterioration in his medical condition in recent days. He has been diagnosed with blood disorders and was told by prison doctors at Ramle prison clinic that he has leukemia. Bitar has lost over 27 kilograms of weight, going from 75 kg to 48 kg. He has severe pain and is bleeding following the removal of a tumor from his lower back.

Murad Abu Maliq continues to suffer from severe intestinal infections and 60% of his large intestine has been removed in surgery at Assaf Harofe hospital and has been told more of his intestine will be removed in future surgery. He has lost 10 kg of weight.

Yousry al-Masri, held in Eshel prison and suffering from thyroid cancer, is struggling to have a private doctor allowed to enter and examine him, saying he has no trust in the prison doctors who did not diagnose his cancer until two years of medical complaints.

Moatassem Raddad, 31, is suffering from colon cancer and needs surgery urgently. A request for his release was brought before the military court on January 9, but a decision on the request was postponed by the committee reviewing it.

Alaa al-Hams launched a hunger strike on January 6. He is suffering from tuberculosis and a tumor of the lymph nodes, and is striking demanding immediate treatment, saying that the prison authorities are not providing treatment and are killing him slowly through medical neglect.

Thaer Halahleh, former long-term hunger striker who was re-arrested in April 2013 today is suffering from hepatitis C, obtained during a dental operation in Askelan prison performed with unsterile implements. He launched a hunger and medicine strike as well, saying that he has received little to no medical treatment for his worsening condition.