Friday, July 24, 2015

Israel Denies Medications for Palestinian Prisoners

Israel Denies Medications for Palestinian Prisoners

by Stephen Lendman

Thousands of Palestinians are imprisoned for political reasons. They're lawlessly incarcerated for wanting fundamental rights mandated under international law.

Abuse in Israel's gulag is appalling. Barbarism best describes it. Cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is standard practice - including torture and other forms of physical and psychological abuse.

Since 1967, over 800,000 Palestinians were incarcerated - about 40% of its male population, including over 8,000 children since 2000 alone.

So-called crimes charged include belonging to the wrong political party, peacefully demonstrating, displaying a Palestinian flag, demanding fundamental civil and human rights, among other actions judged anti-Israeli.

Young children and women are treated as abusively as men. Medical care while incarcerated is appalling by any standard. Vitally needed treatment for seriously ill prisoners is delayed or denied in blatant violation of international law.

Geneva's Common Article 3 requires "humane treatment for all persons in enemy hands, specifically prohibit(ing) murder, mutilation, torture, cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment (and) unfair trial(s)."

Fourth Geneva's Article 56 states:

"To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics." 

"Medical personnel of all categories shall be allowed to carry out their duties."

Article 91 affirms that "(e)very place of internment shall have an adequate infirmary, under the direction of a qualified doctor, where internees may have the attention they require, as well as an appropriate diet." 

"Isolation wards shall be set aside for cases of contagious or mental diseases."

Article 92 states "(m)edical inspections of internees shall be made at least once a month." 

"Their purpose shall be, in particular, to supervise the general state of health, nutrition and cleanliness of internees, and to detect contagious diseases, especially tuberculosis, malaria, and venereal diseases." 

"Such inspections shall include, in particular, the checking of weight of each internee and, at least once a year, radioscopic examination."

Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) requires treating "(a)ll persons deprived of their liberty (with) humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person."

The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association explains "Israeli authorities  regularly neglect their duties to provide medical support for Palestinian prisoners in their care, as required by the Geneva Conventions" and other fundamental human rights laws.

Around 1,500 Palestinian prisoners are ill in need of vital treatment delayed, denied or woefully inadequately provided.

One former prisoner spoke for others saying inmates "can spend months trying to get medicines for a particular illness, and when they finally get some it is hardly ever the right one."

Painkillers are virtually the only medication provided - but no longer. Israel's prison service now requires prisoners to provide their own medications in blatant violation of international and Israeli law.

Its Manual on the Laws of War states:

"Prisoners must be administered proper medical care, at the expense of the detaining State and a monthly follow-up examination must be made of each detainee’s state of health." 

"It is incumbent on the detaining State to provide the prisoners with sufficient food, drink and clothing."

Since 1967, scores of Palestinian prisoners died from medical neglect - many more from deteriorated health from prison abuse after release.

Expect many more to suffer and die ahead given Israel's new policy of requiring Palestinian prisoners to buy their own medications with funds they may not have - especially for unaffordable expensive meds.

Barbarism defines Israeli policy - now more extreme than ever under its current hate-mongering fascist regime.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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