Israel refuses to return body of cancer-stricken Palestinian detainee who died in jail

Palestinians accuse Israel of 'international medical negligence' that led to Nasser Abu Hamid's death

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Israel will not return the body of detainee Nasser Abu Hamid to his family, after Palestinians accused Israel of "intentional medical negligence".

Speaking to Israel's Army Radio on Tuesday, Defence Minister Benny Gantz said the "terrorist Nasser Abu Hamid will not be returned to his family".

Palestinians in the West Bank protested and went on strike after Israel announced Abu Hamid's death following his battle with cancer.

The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of "deliberate medical negligence" that led to Abu Hamid's death, after he underwent surgery while in Israeli custody.

The Arab Lawyers' Association in Cairo and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation released statements blaming Israeli authorities.

The OIC said it holds "the occupying power fully responsible for the death of Palestinian prisoner Nasser Abu Hamid in the occupation prisons, as a result of the policy of deliberate medical negligence and deprivation of basic rights, practised by the Israeli prison administration against prisoners".

The Arab Lawyers' Association said Abu Hamid was treated harshly in Israeli jail and "denied medical assistance".

"The association is staging protests across the Arab world to condemn the inhumane treatment that Nasser Abu Hamid was receiving."

Abu Hamid had been serving seven life sentences and 50 years in prison since his detention in 2001 on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Local media reports say Abu Hamid was behind a series of operations against Israel in 2000 during the second intifada, and was captured two years later.

One of his brothers was killed by Israeli forces and four others are in Israeli jails serving life sentences, Al Quds outlet reported.

Abu Hamid's family home was destroyed five times, most recently in 2019, Al Quds said.

Abu Hamid's family is leading calls for Israel's release of his body.

"I thank God that he chose us to be among the martyrs. I am happy I spoke to Abu Hamid yesterday and got to see him and say goodbye," his mother said.

Updated: December 21, 2022, 12:59 PM