Palestinian prisoners riot in Israeli jails after inmate’s death

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian prisoners rioted in at least four Israeli prisons after the death of an inmate from cancer.

Maysara Abuhamdieh, 64, died Tuesday at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba. Palestinian officials and Palestinian human rights organizations accused the Israel Prison Service of withholding medical treatment.

Prisoners reportedly banged on their cell doors and threw objects at guards upon hearing of Abuhamdieh’s death, The riots occurred at Eshel Prison, where Abuhamdieh had been imprisoned, as well as at Ramon, Nafha and Ketziot prisons. Palestinians also threw firebombs and rioted in the Hebron area, according to Army Radio.  

Abuhamdieh, believed to be working for the terrorist group Hamas, was sentenced to life in prison for recruiting an operative to carry out a 2002 suicide bombing attack on a Jerusalem café.

He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in February, and placed under medical supervision. The prison service last week requested a pardon for Abuhamdieh, after determining that his cancer was terminal. He died before the procedure could be completed, according to reports in the Israeli media. 

"The Palestinian presidency holds the government of Netanyahu responsible for the martyrdom of prisoner Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh today in the prisons of the Israeli occupation," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement.

 

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