Palestinian Political Prisoner Dies from Untreated Cancer

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Palestinian Political Prisoner Dies from Untreated Cancer

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Human rights groups call Israeli medical negligence and mistreatment of imprisoned Palestinians a deliberate policy of neglect.

At any time, scores or hundreds of ill prisoners are denied vital care, including some suffering from cancer, other serious diseases, disability and/or emotional trauma.

Most Israeli prisons are old and infested with insects and rodents. They’re uncomfortably hot and humid in summer, cold in winter. Overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and mistreatment are hazardous to health and well-being.

Occupied Palestine is a war theater. Geneva’s Common Article 3 requires “humane treatment for all persons in enemy hands…”

Fourth Geneva’s Article 76 calls for prisoners to have proper food and hygiene to maintain good health. It requires proper medical treatment as needed.

Article 85 says detaining authorities must provide all necessary measures to assure protected persons are accommodated in buildings or quarters, safeguarding them from humidity, affording them warmth and lighting, along with sufficient sleeping space and ventilation.

Articles 91 and 92 emphasize the need for proper medical care and treatment performed by qualified physicians, especially for prisoners with serious illnesses, diseases, or disabilities.

Israeli prison doctors have compromised loyalty, mainly to the state and its security apparatus, not to patients.

They ignore instances of torture and other mistreatment, at times complicit with these practices.

Israel’s gulag is hellish. Vital treatment for ill prisoners is delayed or denied, including urgently needed surgeries.

When treatment is given in prison hospitals, prisoners are painfully shackled, exacerbating their misery.

Days earlier, 57-year-old Hussein Hosni Atallah died in prison, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Society.

He suffered from cancer spread from his lungs to his spine, liver, pancreas and brain for lack of treatment.

He was diagnosed with the disease two years ago, denied urgently needed treatment until recently moved to Israel’s Harofeh Medical Center hospital when he was too far gone to help.

Numerous appeals from his lawyer fell on deaf ears, denied by prison authorities – despite reports by an ICRC medical team and the prison doctor, stressing his serious condition.

Israel murdered Atallah by neglect and mistreatment, uncaring if he lived or died, even refusing to let him spend his final days with family members – one of numerous examples of Israeli viciousness.

He served two-thirds of his prison sentence, 21 years in hell, suffering in his final years as cancer spread from one part of his body to another, a painful slow death – his suffering ended when it came.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights called for an investigation into his appalling mistreatment, PCHR saying:

“Atallah’s death highlights the deterioration of detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including repressive measures against them, medical negligence they are subject to and the failure to provide necessary medical treatment to hundreds of patients, especially those who suffer from serious diseases.”

Ruthless Israeli governance bears full responsibility, countless others treated as mercilessly as Atallah.

Cruel and inhumane treatment flagrantly violates international law and common decency – the latter entirely absent in Israel for Palestinians, disdainful of their rights.

Atallah’s long ordeal is over, his suffering ended, free at last from barbaric Israeli mistreatment.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.