Tension high in Israeli jails following death of the prisoner Sami Abu Diyak

Tension was high throughout the Israeli prisons this morning following the announcement that Palestinian prisoner, Sami Abu Diyak, who was suffering from cancer, has died, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Prisoners Affairs Commission.

Abu Diyak, 37, from Silat al-Dahr village in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, died this morning in the Israeli hospital Asaf Harofeh as a result of what the Commission said was “the policy of deliberate and systematic clinical killings by the (Israel) Prison Services.” He was suffering from cancer and several appeals to release him on humanitarian grounds to get proper treatment in hospital were rejected.

In a statement, the Commission said that following the announcement of the death of Abu Diyak, there was anger and condemnation in the various prisons. Prisoners banged on the doors and called out the name of God as the prison services administration rushed to declare a state of alert and shut down all sections.

With the death of Abu Diyak, the number of Palestinian prisoners who died as a result of medical negligence has reached 222 since 1967, more than a third of them while in custody.

Abu Diyak was detained on 17 July 2002 and was sentenced to triple life terms plus 30 years, of which he spent 17 years behind bars before his death. He was diagnosed with an intestinal cancer in September 2015 and his condition began to deteriorate as a result of medical mistakes by the Israeli Soroka hospital in the south of Israel where he underwent surgery to remove 83 cm of his large intestine. He was then transferred to Ramla prison clinic where his health deteriorated due to the dismal and unhygienic conditions of the prison. He was then transferred to Assaf Harofeh, and then returned to Ramla prison.

Abu Diyak was unable to walk and would move only on a wheelchair. He underwent four operations to remove tumors from the intestine, and during one of the operations, he went into a coma for one month.

Many petitions were submitted for the early release of Abu Diyak in light of the serious and critical deterioration of his health, but the occupation authorities rejected all appeals, said the Commission.

The Prisoners’ Commission held the occupation authorities fully responsible for the death of Abu Diyak due to what it said was its racist crimes against Palestinians, such as physical and psychological torture, medical negligence of prisoners and other violations and procedures of torture against them, which come at the expense of the life of the Palestinian prisoner.

It called for investigations into cases of violations against prisoners and to force Israel to abide by international law regarding prisoners.

This was Abu Diyak’s last message from the prison: “To every person with conscience, I live my last hours and days. I want to be in my last days and hours beside my mother and my loved ones, and I want to die in her arms. I do not want to die while I my hands and feet are cuffed and in front of a jailer who loves death and nurtures and delights by our pains and sufferings.”

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