WEST BANK (Dispatches) – A Palestinian prisoner died in the Zionist regime’s custody at Soroka-University Medical Center on Thursday, a death which Palestinian authorities have slammed as “deliberate medical negligence by the Israeli prison administration”.
Sami al-Umour, 39, who was detained in 2008 and was serving a 19-year prison sentence, suffered from heart problems. He was transferred to the hospital a few days before his death, following a severe deterioration in his health.
According to the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs in Gaza, Umour endured harsh conditions during his detention.
Umour’s fiancée, Ghada Abujame, received the news of his death early in the morning, and rushed to his family home in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip.
“He spent more than 13 years in prison and only five more years were left until he would be released. He had hope and dreamed of the day of his release when he would be free and start a new life with me,” the 32-year-old told Middle East Eye.
“I cannot imagine that he’s gone at a time when I was planning for our life together. I was dreaming of the day he would be released, when we would get married and finally live a stable life,” she continued.
Abujame could never visit her fiancée in prison, because the Zionist regime authorities only allow first-degree relatives and documented wives to apply for visit permits.
The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement says the death of the young Palestinian prisoner from medical complications caused by deliberate medical negligence in the regime’s custody amounts to “a crime against humanity and a violation of all international principles.”
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said the death of 39-year-old Sami Umour has brought the number of Palestinian prisoners who have lost their lives in Israeli jails to 227, emphasizing that the high figure shows the scope of violations that Zionist regime prison authorities are committing against them, especially those with health issues.
Abdul-Latif al-Qanu, another Hamas spokesman, also said that Umour’s death exposes the regime’s brutality and its utter disregard for international law and human rights.
According to the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, giving Palestinian prisoners painkillers instead of proper medical treatment is part of the medical negligence the prison authorities adopt to let prisoners “die slowly”.
“We are witnessing a new crime by the Israeli prison administration that has deliberately adopted a policy of medical negligence against Umour and hundreds of other prisoners,” Islam Abdu, a spokesperson for the Palestinian ministry, told MEE.
According to Abdu, at least 227 Palestinian prisoners have died in the regime’s custody since 1967, including 79 due to medical negligence.
Around 4,600 Palestinians remain in the regime’s prisons, including 32 women and 220 children. Of those, around 700 have illnesses, including chronic diseases and cancer.