A Palestinian prisoner serving a life sentence in Israel who had been
suffering from terminal cancer died at Soroka Medical Center in
Beersheba on Tuesday, setting off unrest in a number of prisons.
prisoner, 64-year-old Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh, was a Hamas member from the
West Bank who was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for attempted
murder, membership in a banned organization, and illegal possession of
He was charged for his role in planning an attempted bombing of Jerusalem's Kafit Cafe in 2002.
to the IPS, Hamdiyeh was diagnosed with cancer in February, and when it
became apparent that his disease was terminal the IPS began the process
of examining an early release for him, but he died before a ruling
could be given on the matter.
The IPS said that after news of his
death on Tuesday made it's way to the security prisoners, a number of
them began slamming on their cell doors and throwing trash in a number
of security blocks at prisons across the country.
authorities were able to gain control of the situation, however six
prison guards and three prisoners were lightly injured from enhaling
Palestinians also rioted in the Hebron area at the news of Hamdiyeh's death, throwing Molotov cocktails at security forces.
the official Hamas al-Qassam Brigades twitter page, the organization
called for an "urgent solidarity march for the martyr" to be held in
Ramallah in the West Bank.
Qadura Fares, head of an advocacy
group for Palestinian prisoners, accused Israel of responsibility for
Hamdiyeh's death, due to its "refusal to release him for treatment,"
despite repeated requests, some of which came from abroad, AFP reported.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and PA
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had attempted to gain Hamdiyeh's release as
his health deteriorated.
"The Israeli government in its intransigence and arrogance refused to respond to Palestinian efforts to save the life of the prisoner," Abbas told members of his Fatah party in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Abu Hamdiyeh is the second Palestinian to die in Israeli custody this year. Arafat Jaradat, 30, died at Megiddo Prison in February. Palestinian officials said he had been tortured, an allegation Israel denied.
Reuters contributed to this report.