Hundreds of Palestinian Authority security prisoners rioted while terrorists out of jail attacks Israelis with rocks and firebombs Tuesday following the death of a cancer-stricken terrorist serving a life sentence for helping to plan a suicide bombing.
The Palestinian Authority officially blamed Israel for the “brutal” death of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, 64, who died after being transferred from his Negev prison cell to Be’er Sheva’s Soroka Medical Center late last month for medical care.
Six prison guards and three prisoners were injured during riots, and Arabs in Abu Hamdiyeh’s home city of Hevron went on a rampage, throwing rocks and hurling firebombs at police and soldiers.
Abu Hamdiyeh was sentenced to life in 2002 for organizing a Fatah suicide attack at the Kafit coffee shop in Jerusalem, where approximately 50 people were spared death or injury when the bomber’s explosive charge failed to detonate.
“The Palestinian presidency holds the government of Netanyahu responsible for the martyrdom of prisoner Abu Hamdiyeh today in the prisons of the Israeli occupation,” according to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina.
Just to make certain there is no doubt concerning the gravity of Israel’s supposed guilt, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called it a “premeditated crime against humanity.”
Palestinian Authority Minister for Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe charged Israel with causing his death, which he said “is a brutal crime…especially that the prison administration knew that he was suffering from cancer and they didn’t release him and medically neglected him.”
An Israeli prisoner spokeswoman said that Abu Hamdiyeh was diagnosed in February with esophagus cancer, which was not diagnosed as terminal until last week. She added that the Prisons Service “appealed to the release committee to secure his early release, a process which had been started but not yet concluded.”
The cancer-stricken terrorist recently complained to lawyers that he was only receiving pain killers and was not treated for his condition while in jail.
Hamas called for a new intifada against Israel, but the call was unnecessary considering the violent reaction to Abu Hamdiyeh’s death. The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency noted that he was the 207th Palestinian Authority prisoner to die in jail, an implication that Israel is to be blamed for deaths of terrorists, even those who suffer from cancer.
Other jailed Palestinian Authority terrorists are risking their lives through hunger strikes, and one of them, Samer al-Issawi, is being cared for in an Israeli hospital, where he reportedly is in critical condition. He had been freed from jail in the swap of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit in return for 1,000 terrorists but was re-arrested for violating terms of the agreement.
If he dies, Israel also will be blamed for his starving himself to death.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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