Israel rejects early release for terminally ill Palestinian prisoner Walid Daqqa

Israel rejects early release for terminally ill Palestinian prisoner Walid Daqqa
Israel has refused to grant an early release request for a terminally ill Palestinian prisoner.
2 min read
27 June, 2023
Daqqa is in critical condition and some opinions have said he has only years to live [Getty]

Israeli authorities on Monday rejected an appeal for the early release of a terminally ill Palestinian prisoner.

Walid Daqqa was diagnosed with cancer in the bone marrow, with some doctors saying he has only two years to live.

Despite his terminal condition, the Israeli government claims his sickness is "not serious enough" to grant him early release.

A special parole board in charge of prisoners with life sentences said on Monday that he could not leave as he was convicted of "an act of terrorism."

"Therefore, we rule that the prisoner may not be released under the Parole Law, whatever the reason for parole may be," said the board, according to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper.

Earlier this year, Daqqa finished serving a 38-year-long sentence for having made part of a Palestinian armed cell in 1986 that captured and later killed an Israeli soldier.

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Daqqa remains imprisoned for another offence, after being charged in 2017 for smuggling phones to Palestinian prisoners, which resulted in a member of the Israeli Knesset also being convicted.

Now 61, Daqqa is scheduled to complete his sentence in March 2025.

He is one of the dozens of Palestinian prisoners whose release was agreed upon in the Oslo Accords in 1993. In the final hours, Israel revoked his release due to unspecified political reasons.

Currently, some 4,900 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails, including 700 ill prisoners, 200 of whom have chronic diseases, including 24 with different types of cancer.

Earlier this year, prominent Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan died in Israeli detention. Israeli prison authorities refused to move him to hospital despite repeated warnings from his family and rights groups.