West Bank clashes erupt after the death of a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody, in which two more Palestinians are shot and killed by Israeli forces.
Photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz, Anne Paq, Yotam Ronen, and Oren Ziv
Clashes erupted throughout the West Bank between Palestinians and the Israeli military on Thursday over the death of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, a long-term Palestinian prisoner who died of cancer this week while in Israeli custody. During those clashes two more Palestinians, 18-year-old Naji al-Balbisi and 17-year-old Amer Nassar, were killed by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces near the city of Tulkarem.
Funerals for Abu Hamdiyeh and the two teenagers were held today amid ongoing clashes with Israeli forces, and accusations that the prisoner’s health was neglected by prison officials. Protesters also called for general strikes throughout the West Bank, resulting in closed shops amid further demonstrations.
Abu Hamdiyeh was first imprisoned by Israel in 1969, after being accused of membership in the General Union of Palestinian Students. Between 1970 and 1975, Abu Hamdiyeh was detained many times without charge. He was arrested again in May 2002, and in 2005 an Israeli court sentenced him to 25 years in prison. Israeli military authorities appealed for a longer sentence, and in 2007 he was sentenced to life. Since Abu Hamdiyeh’s arrest in 2002, his four children have been banned from visiting him.
In August 2012, Abu Hamdiyeh suffered severe throat pain. Five months later, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. He complained of medical neglect by Israeli prison authorities, and said in March that he was only given pain killers. In late March, Abu Hamdiyeh was finally admitted to the hospital, where he died on Tuesday morning.