Dura family appeals for release of dying son from Israeli jail

[ PIC 12/06/2013 – 10:02 PM ]

From Khalid Amayreh in Dura, occupied Palestine

The family of Palestinian political prisoner Mahmoud Abu Saleh has appealed to human rights organizations and the world community at large to pressure Israel to release their son from Israeli jails on humanitarian grounds.

Abu Saleh is suffering from a terminal illness and physicians say he has only a few weeks to live as his health condition is deteriorating rapidly.

“I call on every conscientious human being around the world to do what they can to convince the Israeli authorities to release my son so that he could spend his remaining days or weeks with us, his mother told the Palestinian Information Center .

“This is a purely humanitarian issue; Israel is not going to suffer any negative consequences by allowing a dying man to spend the remaining days of his life with his family.”

Israel has turned down all appeals and requests for his release, citing “legal” and security reasons.

However, relatives and friends reject whatever rationales Israel claims to have for keeping him in jail despite his exacerbating terminal illness.

“They (the Israelis) are lying, their only logic is to inflict maximum pain and suffering on his family, otherwise how is it possible that the release of a dying man would undermine Israeli security” asked his cousin Muhammed.

Israel classifies Palestinians into either collaborators or informers, or terrorists. There are thousands of Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails and detention camps. Some of these inmates suffer from serious illnesses due to medical negligence and morbid environmental conditions.

Abu Saleh was born in Dura in 1973 where he obtained his school education. In 2002, he was arrested by the Israeli occupation army on alleged charges that he took part in the Palestinian intifada or uprising.

He was sentenced to 22 years in jail.

He was diagnosed with cancer of the head and neck three years ago. His family says he has been receiving inadequate medical treatment as the Israeli prison authority displayed conspicuous indifference to his condition.

He reportedly lost 25 pounds of his weight. His family has pitched a “solidarity” tent outside the Dura municipal building to receive local and international activists showing solidarity.

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