2nd Death in 2020: Palestinian with Throat Cancer Dies in Israeli Prison, Israeli Authorities Purposefully Lead Prisoners to their Deaths and Disregard Repeated Calls for their Release
Date: 11 November 2020
Time: 08:30 GMT
Kamal N. Abu-Wa’ar, a 46-year-old Palestinian imprisoned by Israel for the last 17 years was pronounced dead on Tuesday evening, 10 November 2020, at Shamir Medical Center in Israel. The late Abu-Wa’ar, originally from Qabatia village near Jenin, suffered throat cancer and his health had been steadily declining for over a year.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights holds Israeli authorities responsible for Abu-Wa’ar’s death and expresses its grave concern that Israeli authorities purposefully delayed providing him adequate and prompt medical attention. Abu-Wa’ar was imprisoned by Israel in 2003 and sentenced to 6 life sentences and 50 years on the charge of resisting the occupation.
In October 2019, Abu-Wa’ar, who was imprisoned at Jalbou’ prison, was diagnosed with throat cancer and transferred to Rambam Hospital in Haifa for chemotherapy, which was delivered to him via a chest-tube. His health condition rapidly deteriorated, as he suffered breakdown of platelets, extreme fatigue, and difficulty breathing, dysphasia, and extreme weight loss as he required tube feeding, according to the Commission of Detainees Affairs. Last July, Abu Wa’ar contracted COVID-19 and was transferred from Jalbou’ prison to Ramla Prison Clinic. He was put on an assistive breathing device; but unfortunately, his health continued to decline, and he was transferred back to Shamir Medical Center where he was pronounced dead yesterday.
Abu-Wa’ar’s death shed a light on the general decline in the living conditions for thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, and reveals the extent of punitive measure Israel shamelessly adopts against them; namely medical negligence, as Israeli authorities delay offering needed medical treatment, and do not provide the necessary medications for hundreds of prisoners with chronic and dangerous diseases. This manifestation is a serious violation of the occupation authority’s duties to provide humane imprisonment conditions and health care pursuant to the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulations, particularly Articles 85 and 125.
Also, Abu-Wa’ar’s death highlights the persistent Israeli disregard for repeated calls for the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners with chronic and serious diseases who have spent many years behind bars, all the while neglecting its duty to provide them with adequate health care services. Many Palestinian prisoners lost their lives due to this deliberate indifference, the latest victim was Sa’di Khalil al-Gharabli (74) from Gaza City, who died on 08 July 2020, after spending 26 years in imprisonment, and had suffered chronic diseases, including prostate cancer; yet, he was left to die in prison.
PCHR calls on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to enhance its follow-up on the imprisonment conditions of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Furthermore, PCHR urges the international community to pressurize Israel to immediately release prisoners, including women, children and patients, who have served two thirds of their sentences; and to provide healthcare services in accordance with the internationally recognized minimum standards.