Friday, May 24, 2024

Prominent Palestinian prisoner Walid Abu Daqqa dies in Israeli custody

On Monday, long-term Palestinian prisoner Walid Daqqa, who was suffering from cancer, died aged 62 in an Israeli hospital, according to the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs.

Palestinian novelist and activist Daqqa has been detained since 1986 for killing an Israeli soldier and has remained in prison. He was diagnosed with a rare type of bone marrow cancer last year.

Israeli authorities denied his early release despite his diagnosis and pressure from Palestinian rights groups.

Last year, Addameer, a rights group that supports Palestinian prisoners, said that Daqqa was in “dire need of urgent medical attention”, accused Israeli authorities of denying him the treatment he was prescribed, and called for his “immediate release”.

But Israel refused to free him from prison early, setting his release date for 2025.

At least 10 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons since the war on Gaza began on October 7, according to Wafa. But a Haaretz investigation said that the number was at least 27.

Daqqa wrote several books, including a children’s story from prison. In 1999, he also got married while behind bars. Along with his wife, Sana Salameh, he welcomed a daughter – Milad – in 2020, conceived after his sperm was smuggled out of prison.

“He was among the most prominent prisoner intellectuals, with several works to his name, notably ‘Melting the Consciousness,’ ‘Parallel Time,’ and the novel ‘The Secret of the Oil Story,’ which received local and Arab awards,” Lema, a diplomat at the Palestine Mission to the European Union, said in a post on X.

“Daqqa leaves behind a legacy as a Palestinian hero,” she said.

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