Israel cutting health care to freed Palestinian prisoners

Israeli security forces detain a Palestinian man in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah (Emmanuel Dunand - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  May 27, 2021

More than 15 freed prisoners from occupied East Jerusalem have had their health insurance cut under false pretexts. Many have also been deported and banned from the occupied city for periods of between one and two years.Israeli occupation authorities have cut basic health insurance benefits to freed prisoners and detainees held during its arrest campaigns in Damascus Gate and Sheikh Jarrah over the past month, Palestinian news sites have reported.

Fatah Secretary (Jerusalem District) Shadi Mutwar and his family, Fatah activist and freed prisoner Nour Shalaby, Muhammad Zughair, Osama al-Rajabi and freed prisoners Majid al-Jabah, Rami al-Fakhoury, Hamza Zughayer, Rokhi Kilghasi and Nasser Abu Khdeir, have all suffered as a result of the removal of their health insurance.

Mutwar said: “It is not strange for the occupation to take unfair decisions against the people of Jerusalem, including prosecution, administrative detention and cutting insurance benefits, including health, forced displacement, and racial discrimination.”

“I was surprised by the decision to deport me from the West Bank, the lack of communication with more than 50 Palestinian national figures in Jerusalem, the distance from the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah … in addition to cutting off allowances to me and my family,” he continued.

Palestinians, he stressed, will remain on their land no matter how long it takes.

Released prisoner, Majid al-Jabah, a resident of the Old City, said: “I went to the health centre in Jerusalem yesterday, Tuesday, for a medical review only to be informed of the suspension of my health insurance, meaning that I do not deserve the treatment that is guaranteed by all international laws.”

The occupation follows these policies with decisions to seize the vehicle and bank accounts of freed prisoners and forbid them from leaving the country, Al-Jabah explained. This, he added, supports Israel’s plans to force Jerusalem’s Arab population out of the occupied holy city.

Since the beginning of the attacks and confrontations in the vicinity of Damascus Gate on 13 April, more than 550 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli occupation forces across occupied Jerusalem.