Maysara Abu Hamdiya

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Maysara Abu Hamdiya
Born 1948
Hebron
Palestine
Died April 2, 2013
(aged 65)
Soroka jail, Beersheba,
Israel
Cause of death Throat cancer

Maysara Ahmed Mohammed Abuhamdia (1948 - April 2, میَّسرہ ابو حامدیہ) (2013) was a fighter in the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Resistance fighter[edit]

He joined the Palestinian Student Union (PSU). He was sentenced to 10 months in jail in 1969 for affiliation with the PSU since all Palestinian unions were banned under Israeli Law.[1] In 1970, he became a fighter for the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah).[2] He was with Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in South Lebanon forces fighting against Israeli forces that invaded Lebanon.

He mobilized the resistance against the Israeli invasion and occupation of the West Bank. He was arrested at the end of 1975 and deported to Jordan in 1978. In Jordan, he was the assistant for Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad) and was responsible for Intifada Logistics. He returned to the West Bank at the end of 1998 and joined the Preventive Security Apparatus of the Palestinian Authority as a Colonel.[2] After the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000, he was arrested and accused of responsibility for the Hamas cell in the West Bank.[3] He was given a life sentence (99 years according to Israeli Military Law).[4] He died, allegedly of throat cancer, while in an Israeli jail. Eight months prior to his death, Abuhamdia complained of general weakness, sore throat and pain in his joints.[5] After examination by a doctor, according to his family, he received some shots. Abuhamdia asked again for proper examination to diagnose his illness. After four additional months, prison staff transported Abuhamdia to the hospital in Tel-Aviv. According to Abuhamdia's wife, he said, "They transferred me to the hospital in the prisoners bus. The steel bus seats were uncomfortable. I fell many times during the 6 hour trip. I will not go again unless they bring an ambulance." When he went to the hospital, the doctors took samples from his throat for tissue diagnosis, but test results were never shared with him. He remained in jail with other Palestinian prisoners, after a while, his health deteriorated without any medication such as painkillers. His voice disappeared, and his neck swelled with nodes and he became very weak. He could not change his clothes nor could he go to the toilet. Despite this, the Israeli Prison Authority left him in the cell. The prisoners demanded officially from the Prison Authorities to transfer Abuhamdia to hospital, but the Prison Authority said it was too late, and Abuhamdia had only days to live. A week before his death, the Israeli Authorities transferred him to Beir-Shiva Hospital. They did another Biopsy test and declared for the first time that he had Throat Cancer. He received only two Chemotherapy sessions and died on Tuesday, April 2 at 6 am. An Autopsy was performed on his body, and Israel declared that cancer was spread throughout his body. Israel refused to release his medical records and the results of the medical tests.

Legacy[edit]

Most Palestinians saw Abuhamdia as a national hero[6] who fought Israel. Abuhamdia's heroism was reflected in the clashes that spread inside the prisons and the Israeli use of force to subdue Palestinian prisoners after his death.[7] He was promoted to General and soon after to Major General by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007. A formal military funeral was held after his death.[8]

After his death, the Palestinians became aggravated[9] as they were following his case through the Palestinian Prisoners Club and the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners. They were expecting him to be released or receive appropriate medical treatment. After his death clashes erupted all over the West Bank resulting in the deaths of two Palestinian teenagers in Tulkarm, north of the West Bank.[10][11] Israel continued to hold his records. Israel claimed that Abuhamdiya received proper treatment, in contrast to a Palestinian autopsy test that rebuts this claim.[12]

References[edit]