Palestinian detainee dies in Israeli prison after medical negligence, torture: report

Palestinian detainee dies in Israeli prison after medical negligence, torture: report
Juma Abu Ghanima is the latest victim of negligence and abuse widespread in Israeli prisons, which has surged exponentially since October 7.
2 min read
17 March, 2024
Israeli prisons are rife with systematic abuse against Palestinian detainees [Getty/file photo]

A Palestinian Bedouin detainee has died in an Israeli prison this week amid reports of medical negligence and systematic abuse common in Israeli jails, Palestinian rights groups confirmed on Saturday.

Juma Abu Ghanima died five days after reports emerged that his health was seriously deteriorating, the Commission of Detainees’ Affairs and the Palestinian Society Prisoners’ Club (PPS) said in an official statement.

The 26-year-old was transferred from Eshel prison in the Naqab (Negev) Desert to an Israeli hospital after he was found unconscious in his cell, after his health began to rapidly decline.

Abu Ghanima’s death brings the total number of prisoners and detainees who have died in Israeli jails since October 7 to 13.

Israeli authorities claimed that Abu Ghanima, who was apprehended in December, had joined Hamas.

He was charged last month with serious security offences and was being detained until the end of legal proceedings, according to the Times of Israel.

In their statement, the Commission and the PPS said they held Israeli prison authorities fully responsible for Abu Ghanima's death, as torture and systematic medical negligence against Palestinian detainees held in Israeli jails had increased significantly since October 7 - when Israel began waging its deadly war in Gaza, killing over 31,600 people.

Several testimonies revealed that Israeli prison guards had abused and collectively punished Palestinian prisoners in the weeks that followed the military onslaught in Gaza.

Detainees, including young girls, described being hit with sticks, having muzzled dogs set on them, and had their clothes, food and blankets taken away.

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The two NGOs also added that Israeli authorities are deliberately refusing to disclose the identities of a number of Gazan detainees held in Israeli prisons, as Tel Aviv continues to detain and forcibly make disappear Palestinians.

At least 250 people Palestinian prisoners, including Abu Ghanima, have died in Israeli prisons since 1967.

The total number of Palestinian detainees held in Israeli jails has surged to 9,100, including 3,558 individuals held in administrative detainees.