Palestinians on strike after inmate dies

2013-04-03 13:02
Israeli Border Police arrest a First Aid Arab Union Society member during clashes in Jerusalem's Old City. (Bernat Armangue, AP)

Israeli Border Police arrest a First Aid Arab Union Society member during clashes in Jerusalem's Old City. (Bernat Armangue, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ramallah - Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza were observing a general strike on Wednesday, with prisoners refusing food to mourn the death of a fellow inmate in an Israeli jail.

The death on Tuesday morning of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh, a 63-year-old from the West Bank town of Hebron suffering from throat cancer, sparked outrage across the territories with the Palestinian leadership accusing Israel of medical negligence.

As news of his death spread, disturbances broke out among Palestinian prisoners in at least four Israeli jails and stone-throwing clashes erupted in Hebron, Abu Hamdiyeh's hometown, that continued on Wednesday.

As a show of mourning, schools, shops and offices were closed in Hebron at the start of what officials said would be a three-day general strike, as stone-throwing youths clashed with the army in the city centre for the second day running, an AFP correspondent said.

A full strike was also being observed in the northern West Bank city of Nablus where thousands of demonstrators gathered in the city centre for a mass rally, another correspondent said.

A strike was likewise being observed in annexed east Jerusalem ahead of the arrival of Abu Hamdiyeh's body at Abu Dis medical centre where it was to undergo a Palestinian autopsy on Wednesday afternoon ahead of a funeral in Hebron on Thursday.

4 600 on hunger strike

In Ramallah and the Gaza Strip, the strike was being partially observed, other correspondents said.

Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinian prisoners refused their breakfast at the start of a one-day hunger strike in protest over Abu Hamdiyeh's death, an Israel Prisons Service spokesperson said.

"Four thousand six hundred prisoners refused their breakfast this morning in a protest after the death of a prisoner yesterday," Sivan Weizman said, the figure representing the entire Palestinian prison population.

The issue of Palestinians jailed by Israel is highly sensitive and frequently sparks mass demonstrations across the territories that tend to develop into violent clashes with the military.

One of the main points of concern is prisoners on long-term hunger strike who are held without charge, or the conditions of their arrest.

But Tuesday's death sparked an angry outburst over what many said was an Israeli policy of medical negligence.

"The death of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh shows the Israeli government's arrogance and intransigence over the prisoners," Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas told reporters in Ramallah.

Delayed diagnosis

"We tried to get him released for treatment but the Israeli government refused to let him out, which led to his death."

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad also issued a strongly-worded statement in which he slammed the "continued policy of medical negligence of Israeli prison authorities against prisoners as well as the delay in providing them with proper medical treatment".

He also lashed out at what he said was "the delay" in diagnosing Abu Hamdiyeh's condition, which was only discovered in February.

Gaza's Hamas rulers said they were following with the "greatest concern" the developments and warned that Israel would "regret its continuing crimes".

As news of his death emerged, militants fired three rockets at Israel, although only one struck Israeli territory, prompting retaliatory air strikes by Israel overnight.

Two more rockets struck Israel on Wednesday morning in an attack claimed by a radical Salafist group which linked the firing to the prisoner's death.

Abu Hamdiyeh, a senior official from Abbas's Fatah movement, began complaining of throat problems about nine months ago and was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in February.

He was jailed for life in 2002 on charges of attempted murder in connection with a failed bombing attack on a Jerusalem cafe, Israeli officials say.

Read more on:    gaza strip  |  palestine  |  israel  |  middle east peace
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
38 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

upply Chain Manager

Western Cape
ZIMCO Group (PTY) Ltd
R30 000 - R40 000 Per Month

Restaurant Manager

Western Cape
SET Recruitment Consultants
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Accountant - Cape Town

Western Cape
Quantum Recruitment

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.