The US is the world’s leading human rights abuser globally. Regionally, the dishonor goes to Israel along with Washington’s presence. United they’re an axis of pure evil.
On February 6, Israeli authorities murdered Palestinian prisoner Faris Baroud by medical neglect. Arrested in 1991, he was sentenced to life in prison for alleged involvement in the death of an Israeli settler.
The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association called his death one of countless other Israeli crimes against Palestinians prisoners, the vast majority held in gulag hell for political reasons.
Like many other long and intermediate-term Palestinian prisoners, Baroud’s health seriously deteriorated in confinement—in his case, greatly aggravated by 17 suffocating years in isolation, torture by other means.
Psychology Today minced no words, saying “(p)lacing prisoners in solitary confinement is tantamount to torture”—prohibited by international law at all times, under all circumstances, with no allowed exceptions for any reasons.
Isolating people in cages for protracted periods is barbarism by any standard—common practice in America, Israel and elsewhere.
Baroud was supposed to have been released years earlier “with the last group of prisoners who were arrested pre the Oslo Accords,” said Addameer. Instead, Israeli authorities froze his release along with 30 others arrested pre-Oslo.
His lawyers explained that he was systematically denied vitally needed medical treatment. In 2018, part of his malignant liver was removed surgically when it was too late to save him—compounded by denying him no proper post-op care, including his return to prison straightaway after surgery.
Denied access to him for the past 12 years, his family had little knowledge of his health status other than he was deteriorating greatly in confinement.
His precise cause of death is unknown. Israeli medical negligence and indifference toward Palestinian prisoners is longstanding.
Since Israel illegally occupied the West Bank and Gaza in June 1967, Addameer documented the deaths of 218 Palestinian prisoners, including 78 murdered, another seven shot by prison guards, 60 dying from medical negligence, 73 more perishing from torture.
Addameer explained that 112 Palestinian prisoners were killed since October 1991—after Israel became a signatory to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Nearly five dozen were killed by Israel after arrest. Almost three dozen died from medical neglect, another two dozen from torture under brutalizing interrogation.
According to Palestinian Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees affairs director Islam Abdu, For three years, we have received a lot of appeals from prisoners about Baroud’s health condition. It was deteriorating daily.”
Reportedly during his last days, he vomited blood daily. Israeli prison regulations state “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.”
Palestinians prisoners are denied what’s provided for incarcerated Jews, part of what apartheid rule is all about.
Fatally ill in severe pain, Baroud was only transferred from Ramon prison to Soroka hospital the day before he died. His sister Fayza said, “God released him from the Israeli prison’s torture.”
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are chronically ill, many with serious diseases largely going untreated.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi condemned Baroud’s inhumane treatment, saying, “The Israeli government is fully responsible for the untimely death of Faris Baroud and the inhumane treatment he was subjected to for nearly three decades,” adding, “Israel is a serial violator of human rights and its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the systematic use of torture and other inhumane treatment as well as medical negligence.”
“It is high time for Israel’s brutality against Palestinian prisoners, illegally imprisoned inside Israeli territory, to be thoroughly and independently investigated.”
“This grave situation requires immediate attention from all High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, who have a legal and moral obligation to end Israel’s policy of mass incarceration and endemic human rights violations of Palestinian political prisoners.”
“The Israeli government must be placed under full scrutiny and accountability for their repeated violations of International law, including international humanitarian law.”
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.