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Elderly Palestinian woman dies of deliberate medical negligence in Israeli prison of Damon

An elderly Palestinian woman has died as a result of deliberate medical negligence in an Israeli detention center.

Amjad al-Najjar, a spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoners Club, said 68-year-old Saadia Farajallah was suffering from several chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart problems, and died in the Israeli Dimon prison on Saturday, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

He added that the captive, a mother of eight from the town of Idna in the occupied West Bank, was arrested by Israeli forces in December 2021 while she was near Ibrahimi Mosque and had been in detention since then.

Najajra said the Israeli court had repeatedly denied lawyers’ requests to release Farajallah, who had not been allowed any family visits for the duration of her detention.

Farajallah was charged with attempting to carry out a stabbing operation against an Israeli soldier.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club said in a statement that the initial investigation showed that Farajallah lost consciousness after completing her ablution and was immediately transferred to the clinic of Damoun Prison, where she lost her life.

It added that a court session was held for the oldest female captive last Tuesday and she was present in a wheelchair, noting that her lawyer had demanded a specialized doctor, after medical examinations showed that she had high diabetes and pressure.

The Palestinian Authority held Israel responsible for Farajallah’s death.

Qadri Abu Bakr, the head of the Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs, said in a statement that Farajallah’s death “was the latest episode in the racist crimes committed against our detainees and female prisoners.”

He added that the silence of the international community “allows the Israeli occupation to commit more crimes against our prisoners.”

Farajallah’s death brings the total of Palestinians who have died in Israeli prisons since 1967 to 230. She was one of 29 female Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated in the Israeli prison of Damon, near Haifa.

Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the fourth Geneva Convention. 

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention.

Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to bring its use to an end.

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