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Palestinians clash with troops over prisoner’s death

Soldier lightly wounded, Israeli vehicles stoned as rioters protest quality of medical care afforded Maysara Abuhamdia

Palestinians march in the West Bank city of Ramallah to protest the death of prisoner Maysara Abuhamdia, Tuesday, April 2, 2013 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Palestinians march in the West Bank city of Ramallah to protest the death of prisoner Maysara Abuhamdia, Tuesday, April 2, 2013 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Hundreds of Palestinians clashed with IDF soldiers on Wednesday at locations throughout the West Bank, in response to the death the previous day of prisoner Maysara Abuhamdia from cancer.

Dozens of Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails and stones in Hebron and burned tires in the central square before the soldiers dispersed them. An IDF officer was lightly injured.

At the entrance to Nablus, some 100 Palestinians gathered and temporarily blocked access to the city. In Beit Omar, security forces came under attack, and along Route 60 and near the West Bank town of Ariel, Israeli vehicles were showered with stones.

Abuhamdia, 64, was serving a life sentence for attempted murder for his part a plot to carry out a suicide attack in Jerusalem in 2002. Abuhamdia was found guilty of sending a suicide bomber to a cafe in the capital. The terrorist failed to detonate the bomb he was wearing during the attack.

The Palestinian Authority said Tuesday that Israel didn’t provide the prisoner with proper medical treatment and allowed the cancer to overwhelm Abuhamdia’s body. Israel said Abuhamdia was given all necessary medical treatment.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe accused Israel of medical negligence and demanded an international investigation of Abuhamdia‘s death.

“This is a serious, ugly crime committed against the prisoner Maysara due to medical negligence and reluctance to release him,” he said.

MK Ahmad Tibi (Ra’am-Ta’al) also placed responsibility for Abuhamdia‘s death on Israel, claiming that while “the authorities refused to release him even after he was receiving chemotherapy treatment, in contrast, Jewish prisoners are released when they come down with the occasional cough.”

On Wednesday, the Abu Kabir Forensics Institute announced that an autopsy of the body determined that Abuhamdia had died of complications resulting from throat cancer. Pathologists found no signs of bruises on the body.

The autopsy of Abuhamdia’s remains found a malignant tumor near his vocal cords, and metastasized growths in his neck, lungs, liver, spinal cord, and ribs. The autopsy was carried out by former Abu Kabir director Professor Yehuda Hiss and Palestinian Forensics Institute director Dr. Saber el-Alul.

Abuhamdia’s remains were reportedly to be handed over to the Palestinian Authority for an additional autopsy before being returned to his family in advance of his burial on Thursday.

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