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Press Release: 75-year-old Palestinian detainee dies in Israeli custody

Al Mezan: the Israeli authorities are responsible and an investigation committee must be established

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8 July 2020 |Reference 43/2020

On Wednesday morning, 8 July 2020, 75-year-old Palestinian detainee Saadi Khalil al-Ghrabli from Gaza City was pronounced dead at Kaplan Medical Center following his transfer from al-Ramla Prison, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) announced.


Al-Ghrabli, a father of ten, was arrested in July 1994, and was serving a life sentence, during which he developed various chronic diseases in addition to cancer. Years of solitary confinement and systematic denial of specialized medical care led to serious complications that resulted in his death. In addition, al-Ghrabli had been denied of his right to visitation since 2000.


When the IPS finally agreed to move al-Ghrabli to the prison’s clinic and later to Kaplan Hospital on Sunday, 5 July 2020, his health had already seriously deteriorated. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights notes that Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli custody are subjected to a deliberate policy of pervasive medical negligence, which often leads to loss of life, despite the Israeli authorities’ attempts to report otherwise. Palestinian prisoners and detainees also endure dire detention conditions, including systematic torture and ill-treatment, overcrowding, lack of access to drugs and sanitary products, poor nutrition, and, in certain cases, complete bans on family visits.


Al Mezan holds Israel accountable for al-Ghrabli’s death and condemns the incessant human rights violations perpetrated against Palestinian prisoners, especially solitary confinement, medical negligence, and ban on visitation. A committee to conduct a prompt, thorough and credible investigation into the incident and detention conditions must be established, and the international community must call on Israel, the occupying power, to fulfil its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law with regard to its treatment of Palestinian prisoners and detainees.