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PPS expresses concern over treatment of Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody

Jan. 8, 2017 5:20 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 8, 2017 5:27 P.M.)
(File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The health of a Palestinian prisoner held by Israel has recently severely deteriorated, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) said in a statement on Sunday, expressing concern over the treatment of the detainee.

Iyas Rifai, 32, has suffered dizziness, fainting, bleeding, vomiting, and low body temperature, a PPS lawyer who visited him in Nafha prison in southern Israel said.

Rifai told the lawyer that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) sent him urgently to the prison clinic, where the doctor in charge "only gave me a strong painkiller," the PPS statement added.

Rifai was later transferred to the Eshel prison facility to be examined by a doctor there, in what he called an “agonizing” three-day trip during which he was diagnosed with a virus weakening his immune system and making him vulnerable to diseases such as tuberculosis.

Rifai, a resident of the village of Kafr Ein in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, has been imprisoned by Israel since August 2006 and is currently serving an 11-year sentence.

He underwent surgery in 2015 to remove a tumor in his intestine.

Palestinian officials and rights groups have long accused the IPS of medical negligence towards injured Palestinian prisoners.

In December, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies (PPCS) reported that 32 disabled Palestinians were being held in Israeli custody without receiving suitable medical care.

In November, Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs director Issa Qaraqe said that IPS did not properly treat injured Palestinians when they were in Israeli custody, and that there was “a deliberate policy of medical negligence against injured and sick Palestinian prisoners."

Prisoners rights group Addameer said in a January 2016 report that the policy of medical neglect in Israeli manifested in IPS “denying their responsibility in providing appropriate health care and periodic medical checkups for prisoners and detainees.”

According to the group, since the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000 until 2008, 17 Palestinian prisoners died in Israeli prisons and detention centers as a result of medical negligence.
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