The Embassy of Palestine called on the international community, and Cyprus in particular, to intervene “immediately and urgently” to release a sick Palestinian novelist and political activist from an Israeli prison.
The prisoner, Walid Daqqa, 61, has been detained since 1986 and is serving a 39-year prison sentence, while his health has recently deteriorated after being diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow cancer, the statement said.
The embassy stated it held the Israeli state responsible for the prisoner’s life especially after Israeli minister Itamar Ben Gvir tweeted that “Daqqa is a crook and his life must end in prison.”
The announcement states that the prisoner’s family, inmates, and human rights organisations had launched several campaigns to free him and save his life, but the Israeli prison authorities “stubbornly refuse to do so”.
It added that since 1967, 237 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli prisons, 75 of them as a result of medical negligence, while there are currently approximately 550 sick prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons, including many with chronic illnesses such as cancer, kidney and heart disease.
In March the Palestinian human rights organisations council (PHROC) submitted an urgent appeal to the United Nations calling for Daqqa’s immediate release, with the statement that “the instrumentalisation of medical negligence as a tool to denigrate, demoralise, and punish Palestinian prisoners is emblematic of Isreal’s illegal and inhumane prison system.”
Israel holds about 4,900 Palestinian inmates in 23 prisons, including 31 female prisoners and 160 children, several of whom have exceeded 20 years of detention, and over a thousand administrative detainees.