Palestinian dies in 28th year of Israeli imprisonment

Faris Baroud

A Palestinian prisoner from Gaza City died in Israeli detention on Wednesday after years of medical neglect.

Faris Baroud, 51, spent 17 years in isolation following his arrest in 1991, after which he was given a life sentence for killing an Israeli and injuring three others earlier that year.

During the years he was held in isolation as punishment for his role in a collective hunger strike, Baroud told lawyers with the prisoners rights group Addameer that he was denied medical care.

A tumor and part of Baroud’s liver was removed last year, the prisoner’s family told Addameer.

Months before the surgery, Baroud had participated in a hunger strike to protest the Palestinian Authority’s cutting of prisoners’ stipends.

Addameer stated that the family’s knowledge of Baroud’s recent health situation was “very limited,” and that his condition deteriorated two days before his transfer to hospital, where he died.

The family’s communication with Baroud was also very limited, as he had been banned from receiving visits for 12 years, according to Addameer.

Isolated

Baroud spent more than half of his life in Israeli prison.

He was set to be freed as part of a deal brokered by the US in 2013 to release more than 100 Palestinians serving lengthy prison sentences handed down before the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel signed the Oslo accords in 1993. The deal was frozen by Israel before the release of the final group of 30 prisoners, including Baroud.

Baroud was reportedly one of many Palestinians serving life sentences whose monthly stipends were cut by the Palestinian Authority earlier this week.

Palestinians held in Israeli prisons protested following Baroud’s death.

Prisoners reportedly declared a mass strike, stating they will not perform daily tasks, such as meal distribution.

Palestinians held at Ramon prison in southern Israel can be heard protesting in this video upon the announcement of Baroud’s death:

Palestinian detainee Malik Hamid reportedly poured hot water on a guard in Ramon prison on Wednesday after Baroud’s death.

Israeli prison authorities placed Hamid in isolation soon after.

Hamid, 23, was sentenced to life in prison after he allegedly ran over a sergeant in the Israeli military’s Golani Brigade, killing him, near the Ofra settlement in the central West Bank during April 2017.

Ill prisoners

With Baroud’s death, there are now 26 Palestinians held by Israel since before the Oslo accords, according to Addameer.

Some 160 Palestinians held by Israel have chronic illness and are in need of intensive medical care, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, including 15 held long-term at the Ramle prison clinic.

Baroud is the 218th Palestinian prisoner to die in Israeli detention since 1967, more than 60 of them due to medical negligence.

Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, stated that Israeli occupation authorities bear full responsibility for Baroud’s death.

Students at Birzeit University in the West Bank protested Baroud’s death on Thursday:

That same day Palestinians in Gaza protested Israel’s medical neglect of Palestinian prisoners and Palestinian Authority cuts of prisoners’ stipends:

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Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.