Palestinian cancer prisoner diagnosed with lung infection

Palestinian cancer prisoner diagnosed with lung infection
2 min read
West Bank
11 January, 2022
Doctors told the family of lung cancer sufferer Nasser Abu Hmeid that he had contracted a lung infection.
Some 600 Palestinians in Israeli prisons are chronically ill according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

Israeli doctors confirmed Monday that Nasser Abu Hmeid, a Palestinian prisoner battling cancer, has contracted a lung infection, his brother has told The New Arab.

Abu Hmeid, 50, was transferred from the Israeli Barzilai hospital late on Thursday after his condition deteriorated.

His family was allowed to call an intensive care doctor at the hospital to find out what had happened to him after an intervention by the International Red Cross, according to his brother, Naji Abu Hmeid.

"The doctor then told us that Nasser has 'Legionella' bacteria in his lung and that he is not responding to the antibiotic treatment," Abu Hmeid said.

Israeli medics discovered a tumor in Abu Hmeid’s lung in August after months of pain, identifying it as non-cancerous.

After his pain intensified, Israeli doctors extracted a sample of the tumor and diagnosed Abu Hmeid with lung cancer in October. He then began undergoing chemotherapy.

"Two months ago, when we were told the tumor was getting smaller, Nasser began to have a fever and severe pain, but it wasn't until early this year that he was properly examined," Naji Abu Hmeid said.

A monitor for the rights of Palestinian prisoners in Israel told The New Arab that Abu Hmeid has been subject to "medical neglect" by the Israeli prison service.

"Israeli authorities ignored Abu Hmeid's pain for months before intervening," a spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said.

The Palestinian High Commission for Prisoners Affairs filed a request for Abu Hmeid's early release on health grounds, the commission's chief lawyer, Jamil Saadeh, told Palestinian media on Monday.

The commission had not received an answer, Saadeh said.

About 600 Palestinians in Israeli prisons are chronically sick, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, four of them with cancer.