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  • Family members of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails demonstrate in the Old City of Jerusalem, on April 29, 2017, in support of the ongoing hunger strike.

    Family members of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails demonstrate in the Old City of Jerusalem, on April 29, 2017, in support of the ongoing hunger strike. | Photo: AFP

Mazen el-Mughrabi, 45, suffered from kidney disease and did not receive appropriate treatment from Israeli prison officials.

Former Palestinian prisoner Mazen el-Mughrabi passed away on Monday at his home in the city of Ramallah as a result of Israeli medical neglect, according to the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

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el-Mughrabi, who was 45 years old, suffered from kidney disease and did not receive appropriate treatment from Israeli prison officials for his ailment while he was detained, Samidoun added. He died two years after his release.

The circumstances of el-Mughrabi’s death exemplify criticisms made by Palestinian prisoners currently on a hunger strike. The strikers have slammed conditions in Israeli prisons, claiming they violate the health and safety rights of prisoners. 

Over 1,600 prisoners have joined the hunger strike, which began on April 17, marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. The strike was originally called for by former Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti to protest conditions in the prisons.

Although el-Mughrabi did not participate in the hunger strike, he did visit support tents for the protest on multiple occasions, despite his severe illness, according to Samidoun. 

Many of the strikers, who are detained in the Israeli Ofer prison, suffer from low blood pressure, severe headaches as well as stomach and joint problems, Saba News Agency reported. The site also reports that prisoners are often not allowed to drink cool water and are being forced to consume warm water.

There are about 6,300 Palestinians currently being held in Israeli jails, 500 of which are administrative detainees who have not been charged with or tried for any crimes, according to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer. 

Correction: An earlier version of this article mentioned that el-Mughrabi was a participant of the Palestinian prisoner hunger strike. el-Mughrabi was in fact not a hunger striker and only visited the strikers on several occasions to show his support.

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