RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Fifteen Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons are suffering from cancer and are at risk of dying, the Hossam Association of Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners has said.
The organization said in a statement that they believed the number was in fact higher, as the 15 include only those who have been diagnosed with cancer, but many others have tumors whose malignancy is not known because Israeli prison authorities have limited their access to tests.
The organization blamed Israeli authorities for contributing to an environment in which Palestinian prisoners faced a heightened risk of cancer due to high levels of radiation inside prison cells.
The group said that Israeli authorities set up devices to jam satellite and telephone signals near rooms where Palestinians are being held. They also pointed to the use of radiation in security scanners that prisoners are forced to go through during frequent searches and examinations.
The statement also said that a number of prisons are located near the Dimona nuclear reactor as well as toxic waste dumps in the Negev Desert, another factor which it said contributed to the high incidence of cancer.
The association said that Israel is violating international and humanitarian laws by keeping these prisoners and other sick prisoners in detention as their lives are in danger and they do not pose any danger or threat to Israel.
It claimed in the statement that a total of 1,500 Palestinian prisoners are suffering from some kind of illness, out of a total of around 5,500 Palestinians being currently held in Israeli jails.
The association called upon the international community to uphold its legal and humanitarian responsibilities towards the prisoners and their rights.
The association listed a number of the most pressing cases it was aware of inside Israeli prisons.
The case of Mutasem Radad from Tulkarem is one of the most critical among these, it said, as he has reached an advanced stage of cancer and has undergone several surgeries. They also highlighted Yusri al-Masri from the Gaza Strip who suffers from a malignant tumor in his thyroid and underwent surgery to remove the tumor in December 2013.
The association’s statement added that other prisoners suffering cancer include:
– Prisoner Amer Muhammad Bahr from Abu Dis in Jerusalem, whose health is deteriorating severely as he is suffering from colon cancer and there is a risk of the disease spreading to different areas of the body.
– Prisoner Tareq al-Assi from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, who was diagnosed with colon cancer several years ago after suffering from severe bleeding and weight loss.
– Prisoner Moussa Said Sufan from Tulkarem, who went through a hunger strike recently protesting for better conditions in which to undergo treatment for his disease, as he suffers from a tumor in his ear and neck area. He has been scheduled to undergo a surgery to remove the tumor but it was never carried out.
-Prisoner Fawwaz Baara from Nablus, who is suffering from a tumor in the ear.
-Prisoner Mahmoud Muhammad al-Sharha from Hebron, who is suffering from a malignant tumor in his throat.
-Prisoner Nassim Khattab from Gaza, who is suffering from a testicular tumor.
-Prisoner Khalil Abu Hadrus from Bethlehem, who is suffering from a tumor in his left thigh.
-Prisoner Hazem Miqdad from Gaza, who is suffering from tumor in his liver.
-Prisoner Nabil al-Natsheh, a member of parliament who is suffering from Lymphoma.
-Prisoner Abdullah Mahmoud Abu Latifeh, 29, from Bethlehem, who is suffering from a brain tumor.
-Prisoner Shadi Qaraan from Tulkarem, who is suffering from a testicular tumor.
-Prisoner Naji Nathmi Arar from Qarawat Bani Zaid in Ramallah, who is suffering from a neck tumor.
-Prisoner Iyad Shaaban Dawus from the northern Gaza Strip, who is suffering from a foot tumor.