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Former Palestinian prisoner Musa Abu Al-Qamis died in Gaza due to the lack of medication. (Photo: supplied)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

“My husband lived oppressed and died oppressed. They deprived my husband of his rights, in life and death.”

Relentless Israeli bombardment has killed over 33,000 Palestinians since the beginning of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza starting on October 7.

But many more were killed in other ways, some by starvation, and others due to the lack of medicine and proper medical treatments.

This is the case of Musa Abu Al-Qamis, a 60-year-old former Palestinian prisoner, who passed away because his treatment was no longer available in the war-torn Strip. 

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with his bereaved wife, Um Mohammed. 

“My husband lived in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. He was detained by the occupation in 1989 and spent nearly five years in prison before being released in 1993,” Um Mohammed told The Palestine Chronicle. 

“When he left prison, however, he was sick due to severe torture he had endured at the hands of Israeli soldiers. He suffered from psychological disorders, in addition to diabetes and hypertension,” she continued. 

Abuse and Torture

“During his imprisonment, my husband was subjected to severe torture, including the extraction of fingernails and toenails, and spent nine months in solitary confinement,” Umm Mohammed said.

Abu al-Qamis, who served his time in the prisons of Gaza and Ramleh, lost much of memory during his detention, and was no longer able to recognize his family.

“Eventually, he was released because his health condition did not allow him to stand trial before the Israeli military court. When my husband was released, he was incapacitated and sick, unable to recognize us. But we loved him and wanted him with us,” she continued.

“He lost part of his speech skills, suffered from hypertension and diabetes. A few years after his release, he lost the ability to walk and suffered from diabetic foot gangrene,” she said, adding that the psychological illness was the hardest. 

“Before his imprisonment, Musa worked as a driver, but he completely lost the ability to work. I had three children from him before his arrest, and we were blessed with six more after his release.”

Umm Mohammed and her husband stayed together during the war. 

“My husband was constantly terrified due to the relentless bombing,” she said in tears.

“Moreover, we couldn’t find his medication for diabetes and hypertension, nor his psychiatric medications. I even ventured to the city of Rafah searching for medicine but couldn’t find any”.

“In the early days of the war, my husband inhaled much gunpowder from the Israeli bombing of our neighbor’s house, which caused him a chest inflammation from which he never fully recovered,” Umm Mohammed told us.

When the Israeli forces invaded the refugee camps in central Gaza, Umm Mohammed and her sick husband were displaced to Rafah, where they lived for more than a month in a tent.

“His health condition worsened. He suffered a clot in his leg, and I couldn’t find treatment for him. I searched for his medications among hospitals and pharmacies but couldn’t find them,” the woman said.

“My husband always asked us to leave Rafah and return to our home in the Nuseirat refugee camp. He felt that he would die and told me he preferred to die in his home, not in a tent.”

Returning to Nuseirat

Indeed, the couple returned to Nuseirat in March, and al-Qamis received his wish of dying at home.  

“Musa lived more than half of his life sick and disabled due to torture in the occupation’s prisons and died because the occupation prevented the entry of medicine into Gaza,” Umm Mohammed said.

Due to the war, al-Qamis could not have a large funeral.

“My husband lived oppressed and died oppressed. They deprived my husband of his rights, in life and death.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle in the Gaza Strip.

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