THE PALESTINIAN Authority’s Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said yesterday that the Israeli occupation authorities are maintaining the unfair policy of medical negligence of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli detention.
The Commission said in a statement that the occupation authorities’ prisoners are only to get painkillers rather than a genuine medical treatment.
It mentioned the case of Jamal Omar, 49, a Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli prison of Nafha, who is suffering from cancer in the kidneys and liver, in addition to problems in the stomach, guts and nerves, and who has thus far been denied medical care.
Another prisoner, Ma’zouz Besharat, 45, is reportedly suffering acute back pain as a result of torture by Israeli police during his interrogation. Besharat is also experiencing a chronic headache and middle ear infections that often cause him to lose consciousness, making him in drastic need of a specialist to diagnose his condition.
A third prisoner, Ibrahim Ghnaimat, 42, is suffering a blockage in the arteries and a weak heart muscle, therefore he is in urgent need of a pacemaker to regulate heartbeats.
Meanwhile, while Palestinians suffer in Israeli prisons Israel is easing its lockdown restrictions.
Yesterday, shops, libraries and museums reopened. The health ministry says it is the first stage of returning to normal life. Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world. More than 49% of people have received at least one dose.
Crowds are now allowed back at concerts and sporting events have reopened at 75% capacity, but they have a cap of no more than 300 people inside and 500 outside.
On Saturday, the health ministry said studies revealed the risk of illness from the virus has dropped 95.8% among people who have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. It also found that the vaccine was 98% effective in preventing fever or breathing problems.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says he expects 95% of Israelis over 50 to be vaccinated over the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoners suffer, and the Palestinian people in the occupied territories are dying in droves from Covid-19.
Earlier this week, the Gaza Strip received its first doses of the vaccine after Israel approved the transfer through its border. The shipment included 2,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine which will be used on patients who have had organ transplants and those with kidney failure.
Israel has the highest rate of Covid-19 vaccination per person in the world while the Palestinian territories have only just started a very limited vaccination.
According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) data, there have been more than 189,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than than 2,100 deaths among Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
The case fatality rate for these areas is 1.1% – that’s the proportion of reported infections which result in a person dying. In Israel, it is 0.7%, according to WHO data.
A delivery of 10,000 doses of Russian-made vaccine has now arrived. Israel says it is giving 5,000 doses to the Palestinians – two thousand of these have been delivered to the West Bank so far.
The population of the West Bank and Gaza is now around five million, according to the latest UN estimates.
The United Nations (UN) human rights body has released a statement saying this differential access is ‘morally and legally’ unacceptable under international law. In fact Israel must he hauled before a War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague.
The massive Covid-19 death rate in the occupied Palestinian territories is just another Israeli war crime against the Palestinian people.
Israel is being allowed to turn the West Bank into a big graveyard.
Workers in the UK and the USA must demand that their governments immediately supply the Palestinian people with the required numbers of vaccines.
Now is the time for trade unions to organise mass actions in support of Palestine. It is a matter of life or death for the Palestinian people.