Longtime Syrian activist from the Golan Heights, Asad al-Wali, 67, dies in Israeli prison

Syrian prisoner in Israeli jails As’ad Fares al-Wali, 67, died on Monday, 26 December inside the Israeli Tel Mond prison after a sharp decline in his health and the failure of the occupation to provide medical treatment.

Al-Wali had spent a number of years in Israeli prisons in the 1970s and 1980s. A Syrian from the occupied Golan Heights, he was arrested on the basis of his organizing against the occupation in the 1970s. In 1982, he was fired from his job as a teacher after he organized demonstrations against the occupation’s annexation of the Golan Heights.

He was arrested again two weeks ago and sentenced to eight months in prison after he refused to pay a fine for unlicensed construction, stating that he did not recognize the occupation and would not pay his fines. Due to his age, he already suffered from a number of ailments. His health declined significantly on 25 December, yet he was not provided with treatment. He felt chest pain and was not transferred for treatment before dying of cardiac arrest.

Riyad al-Ashqar of the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies said that Wali is the 209th martyr to die in Israeli prisons and noted that the occupation is fully responsible for his death due to medical neglect and the harsh conditions of his confinement. He noted that he is an Arab martyr in Israeli prisons and part of the Palestinian national prisoners’ movement, noting that many Arab prisoners have served time alongside Palestinians for resisting the occupation.