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Cancer-stricken Palestinian prisoner shifted to hospital as health deteriorates

Walid Daqqa is one of the most prominent and longtime Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody. (Photo via Twitter)

Cancer-stricken Palestinian prisoner Walid Daqqa, 61, has been moved to a medical center after his health deteriorated, as Israeli prison authorities have long denied him proper medical treatment.

The Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs reported on Monday that Daqqa, a Palestinian writer, activist and political prisoner, had been transferred to Shamir Medical Center, formerly known as Assaf Harofeh Hospital, southeast of Tel Aviv.

The Palestinian prisoners’ rights group added that there was no immediate information coming from the hospital about his health, pointing out that Daqqa was already listed in a very critical condition.

Daqqa was detained on March 25, 1986 along with a group of his comrades for taking part in a Palestinian resistance operation targeting an Israeli soldier. For this they were all given life sentences.

He is currently one of the longest-held inmates in Israeli jails.

Daqqa has faced severe medical negligence since he was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2015. Additionally, he was diagnosed last year with Myelofibrosis – a rare form of bone marrow cancer.

If left untreated, Myelofibrosis causes extensive scarring in the bone marrow, leading to severe anemia that can cause weakness and fatigue.

Last April, Daqqa underwent lung surgery at the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, following a sharp decline in his condition. A large part of his right lung was removed.

He had suffered a stroke a month earlier, according to Addameer, a rights group that supports Palestinian prisoners.

Hundreds of Palestinian inmates have been incarcerated by the Israeli regime under the practice of administrative detention.

Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Fourth Geneva Convention. They say Israel's so-called administrative detention violates their right to due process since the evidence is withheld from prisoners while they are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express outrage at their detention.

Israeli jail authorities keep Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions without proper hygienic standards. Palestinian inmates have also been subject to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.

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