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Israel arrests brother of Palestinian prisoner who died in jail

Palestinian political prisoner Sami Abu Diak died in prison due to medical negligence, 19 November 2019 [Twitter]
Palestinian political prisoner Sami Abu Diak died in prison due to medical negligence, 19 November 2019 [Twitter]

Israeli occupation forces arrested the brother of Sami Abu Diak, a cancer-stricken Palestinian political prisoner who died last week while in Israeli custody, according to the Official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Following the invasion in Sielet ath-Thaher town, where the family are based in south of the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin, the soldiers were reported to have fired many gas bombs and grenades before raiding the Abu Diak family home.

While violently ransacking Abu Diak's home, the soldiers damaged their property claiming to search for something.

Ragheb Abu Diak, a family member, told Wafa the entire family were interrogated for several hours after being held hostage in one room.

He also said Salah, Sami's brother, was detained. No reason was given for his incarceration.

READ: The political isolation of Palestinian prisoners

Sami's other brother, Samer, is a political prisoner who is serving a life term and suffers numerous health complications in the Ramla prison clinic, International Middle East Media Centre reported.

Sami Abu Diak died in Israeli Asaf Harofeh hospital after suffering from intestinal cancer for three years. He was arrested by Israel in 2002 and sentenced to three life terms plus 30 years. Several operations in prison resulted in kidney and lung failure, the Palestinian Prisoners' Commission explained.

After being refused compassionate leave to be with his family, in his last message from prison before his death, Sami wrote: "To those with a living conscience, I am living my final hours and days, there is nothing I would like more than spending them near my mother; between my loved ones, I would love to utter my last breath in my mother's arms; I do not wish to die cuffed and shackled…"

His death brings to 221 the number of Palestinian prisoners who have died in Israeli prisons since 1967.

READ: The international community is complicit in Israel's torture of Palestinians 

According to Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners' rights group, there are currently 5,250 prisoners in Israeli jails, including 205 children and 44 women.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics says there have been approximately one million Palestinians arrests since 1948.

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