Palestinian cancer sufferer jailed by Israel is on ventilator: monitor

Palestinian cancer sufferer jailed by Israel is on ventilator: monitor
2 min read
05 January, 2022
Nasser Abu Hamid, 49, was moved to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon last week after experiencing a very high temperature, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club.
Nasser Abu Hamid is one of five brothers imprisoned by Israel [AFP/Getty]

A Palestinian man imprisoned by Israel who is suffering from cancer has seen his health seriously deteriorate, a prisoners' affairs monitor said Tuesday.

Nasser Abu Hamid, 49, was moved from prison to Israel's Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon five days ago, where he is on a ventilator, the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) said.

Abu Hamid, who had recently begun chemotherapy treatment, was admitted to hospital because he suffered from a very high temperature, the PPC said.

The organisation said his need for assisted breathing "warns of a great danger to his life, especially since he suffers from cancer", according to The New Arab's Arabic sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

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Abu Hamid, who has been in prison since 2002, began to fall ill in August with chest pain. Doctors found and removed a lung tumour.

The prisoner was moved back to Israel's Ashkelon jail where his condition worsened. The PPC said his access to chemotherapy was deliberately delayed.

Abu Hamid is one of five brothers from the same family handed life sentences by Israel. A sixth brother from the same family was killed by Israeli forces.

Their mother was not allowed to visit them for years and their father died while the brothers were behind bars, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said.

The outlet also reported that Abu Hamid's family home has also been knocked down on five occasions, most recently in 2019.

Israel often destroys the family homes of Palestinians convicted of various offences, which human rights groups have decried as an act of collective punishment.

It was not immediately apparent if this is why Abu Hamid's family home has reportedly been targeted.

Abu Hamid is from the Al-Amari Refugee Camp, located near the de facto Palestinian capital of Ramallah.

On Thursday, an Israel Prison Service (IPS) spokesperson said: "The prisoner is hospitalized at Barzilai Hospital due to his medical condition.

"Due to his right to medical confidentiality, we will not be able to go into the details of his condition, but we will emphasize that, like all prisoners, he receives full medical treatment from the IPS, which is supported by medical treatment in the community if needed.

"We can also say that the prisoner receives visits in accordance with IPS procedures and security guidelines."

Note: This article was updated on Friday, 7 January to reflect a statement received from the Israel Prison Service in response to a request for comment.