The killing of Ill Palestinian Prisoners

Yossi Schwartz, ISL the section of the RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 22.12.2022

Palestinian prisoner and freedom fighter Nasser Abu Hmeid died in the morning of Tuesday, 20 December 2022 after falling into a coma. Abu Hmeid, 51, from Al-Amari refugee camp, passed away in Assaf Harofeh hospital, having been repeatedly denied release and return to his family even after his terminal cancer diagnosis and the severe deterioration of his health.

Yesterday the Zionist mass media were very happy to tell their readers that “Mass-murdering terrorist Nasser Abu Hmeid dies of cancer in Israeli custody” [1]

Then the Times of Israel tells its readers that Nasser Abu Hmeid was a founding member of Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and was serving multiple life sentences for role in terror attacks that killed 7 Israelis; he also murdered 5 Palestinian collaborators. The newspaper does not say who are these Israelis, that he was involved in what Israel calls the lynching of the Israeli soldiers in Ramallah.

But a little digging reviles that they were Eliyahu Cohen, Binyamin and Talia Kahane, Gad Rejwan, Yosef Habi, Eli Dahan and Salim Baraka. Binyamin Kahane was the son of the notorious fascist Meir Kahane and his follower. Gad Rejwan was a far-right capitalist and the owner of “Bushakevitz” spice factory in the Atarot industrial area, located north of Jerusalem and on the outskirts of the West Bank town of Ramallah.

The Palestinians say that Nasser Abu Hmeid died in an occupation prison from medical negligence. After the tumor in his lungs was diagnosed in August 2021, he was returned back to Ashkelon prison and subjected to further treatment delays and only received chemotherapy after the cancer had already spread throughout his body. Even in September, when the occupation’s Assaf Harofeh hospital recommended he be released as he lived his last days, he was instead sent back to the notorious Ramle prison clinic and imprisoned until his last moment.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that Abu Hmaid was “martyred as a result of the policy of deliberate medical negligence” and held the Israeli occupation responsible. Abu Hmaid was diagnosed with an advanced stage of lung cancer in August 2021 after Israeli authorities delayed the provision of medical examinations and treatment, according to Palestinian prisoner rights groups. His family, prisoner groups and officials had since then launched a campaign calling on Israel to release him and warned that he was being exposed to “a slow death” through medical negligence. The family repeatedly said they wanted their son to die by their side. Back in September, following months of chemotherapy, the Assaf Harofeh hospital said in a medical report there was nothing more it could do to save his life. The hospital recommended that Abu Hmaid be released immediately and said he was “in his last days.” He was however sent back to the Ramla prison clinic and remained jailed. His body has not yet been released to Palestinian officials, who said they are following up on his file at the highest levels, so a funeral procession could be held.

“Israel will hold onto the body of Nasser Abu Hamid, one of the founders of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, as part of efforts to negotiate a deal with Hamas, Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced on Wednesday morning.”  [2]

“Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the martyred prisoner Nasser Abu Hmeid and extends our condolences to the family and fellow strugglers of Abu Hmeid and the Palestinian people on this latest crime of the Zionist occupation. The occupier is solely responsible for the policy of medical neglect and the taking of Nasser Abu Hmeid’s life. He is the 233rd Palestinian prisoner, whose life has been taken inside the occupation prisons, including at least 74 due to the ongoing policy of medical neglect, negligence and abuse, and the refusal to provide early release or even family visits to suffering Palestinian prisoners. Abu Hmeid and his family put out a call to the people, one which we issue: to take to the streets, to confront the occupier, to stand with the prisoners’ cause and the liberation of Palestine” [3]

“The death of Nasser Abu Hmeid also brings another ongoing crime of the occupation to the forefront: the imprisonment of the bodies of Palestinian martyrs, dating from the “cemeteries of numbers” to the 11 bodies of martyrs currently held inside the occupation’s morgues as a form of collective punishment of the entire family and the Palestinian people. Families have been campaigning for the release of the bodies of their loved ones for years; now, the Abu Hmeid family has launched an open sit-in at the entrance to Al-Amari camp to demand the return of Nasser’s body as well as those of all the imprisoned martyrs’ bodies. The family declared that they will not receive condolences for his death until his body and that of all of the martyrs is returned to his family for a proper burial” [4]

There are currently 60 Palestinian prisoners with severe disease such as cancer, including Walid Daqqa, the prominent Palestinian leader and thinker, whose diagnosis was recently corrected to myelofibrosis, after a lengthy period of delay, and over 600 Palestinian prisoners — out of over 4,750 held in occupation jails — diagnosed with some form of serious or degenerative illness” [5]

Nasser Abu Hmeid, a fighter in the Fateh movement, was born on 5 October 1972 in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza, to a Palestinian family from the displaced village of al-Sawafir, forced from their homes in the Nakba in 1948. He spent a total of 33 years in occupation prisons and was a leader in the great popular Intifada of 1987 and then the Al-Aqsa Intifada beginning in 2000. He was arrested for the first time at 12 years old, was severely injured and wounded by bullets of the occupation on multiple instances.

As a leader in the armed struggle in Fateh, he was arrested for the last time in 2002 and sentenced to 7 life sentences and 50 years. Four of his brothers are also Palestinian prisoners: Nasr, Mohammed, Sharif and Islam; all of his brothers spent some time in occupation prisons, and one of his brothers, Abdel-Moneim, died in the struggle. The Abu Hmeid family home was demolished five times, and Nasser’s mother became a symbol of the prisoners’ families and their steadfastness. In 2021, he was diagnosed with lung cancer; since that time, he has been denied release on multiple occasions despite the severe deterioration of his health.

After the tumor in his lungs was diagnosed in August 2021, he was returned back to Ashkelon prison and subjected to further treatment delays and only received chemotherapy after the cancer had already spread throughout his body. Even in September, when the occupation’s Assaf Harofeh hospital recommended he be released as he lived his last days, he was instead sent back to the notorious Ramle prison clinic and imprisoned until his last moment.

The Palestinian prisoners’ movement issued a statement:

Our martyr, the leader Nasser, emerged from the arms of a struggling family of resistance fighters, which did not wait a day in offering its blood and energy to liberate our homeland from the destruction of the brutal, criminal occupier, which still fears Nasser as a martyr and has not dared to liberate his body after his soul was liberated from the oppression of the jailer…We bid farewell to the beloved Nasser, known on the streets of the homeland as a fighter and a struggler, who rose as a martyr as a result of medical negligence and his continued imprisonment without liberation. The time has come now to liberate our children from captivity at the hands of a criminal enemy practicing all kinds of torture and medical neglect for our children….This policy of systematic killing has not and will not weaken our resolve for one day, and we will not stop our resistace inside and outside the prison but instead this increases our certainty of the correctness of the method and our goal..”..Despite the severity of his illness and the pain of his suffering, Nasser Abu Hmeid refused to submit himself to the occupation. He refused to allow his lawyers to submit a request for a pardon to the Israeli occupation military commander, declaring that the occupier had no right or legitimacy to pardon the occupied for resisting and seeking liberation” [6]

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network underlines the full responsibility of the occupation and its backers, including the U.S., Canada, the British government and European governments, for these ongoing and systematic crimes against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian prisoners, including the policy of slow killing and medical neglect that today took the life of Nasser Abu Hmeid. His life of struggle, his refusal to break his principles in even the most severe of circumstances, and his call to stand with the Palestinian prisoners’ movement must inspire us all to rededicate our efforts to obtain liberation for all Palestinian prisoners and for all of Palestine, from the river to the sea. [7]

A general strike started on Tuesday morning with stores, schools and businesses shut across the occupied West Bank to mourn Abu Hmaid’s death, including Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Jenin.

As to the so-called lynching case when Palestinians masses killed two Israeli soldiers who entered Ramallah the Zionist state retaliated by attacking Ramallah and Gaza using helicopter gunships in escalation of hostilities in the region. Black columns of smoke rose from Gaza City, and plumes of smoke curled above Ramallah, where witnesses said a radio transmission building, near Arafat’s office in the city, was hit. It was the toughest Israeli military operation against the Palestinians in two weeks of violence in which at least 96 were killed.

The ISL as part of the RCIT stands unconditionally on the side of the Palestinians in their fight against the Zionist oppression and calls to release the body of the freedom fighter of Nasser Abu Hmeid to his family. Release all political Palestinians prisoners!

Release the body of Nasser Abu Hmeid to his family!

Release all political prisoners!

For Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!





[4] ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

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