Israelis Torturing Prisoners to Death Just Like Nazi Concentration Camps & 99.9% of U.S. Politicians Support Israel!

He was taken from his home a healthy man. He came back on his deathbed.

The family of Farouq Issa, 30, says he was arrested by Israeli forces and thrown into administrative detention as a healthy young man. But four months later, he returned a ghost of himself, and doctors say he has just days left to live.

On Wednesday, December 20, a photo began circulating on social media that sparked sadness, outrage, and fear among Palestinians.

It was a side-by-side comparison of 30-year-old Farouq Ahmad Issa, before and after a stint in Israeli prison. The “before” photo shows a smiling Farouq, and by all accounts, a healthy 30-year-old man. The “after” photo shows a pained, emaciated and gaunt man, reduced to skin and bones, lying on a hospital bed being caressed by his mother.

The photo of Farouq, his head shaved, hollowed eyes, emaciated body and sunken face, quickly went viral, with the initial post shared by Quds News Network reaching well over 8 million views on X. Many people on the platform compared the image of Farouq to those of Jewish prisoners who were starved and tortured in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust.

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Many speculated as to what caused such a severe deterioration in Farouq’s condition. Was it torture? Starvation? Medical neglect? All tactics that have been widely reported by human rights groups and Palestinians recently released from Israeli custody.

According to his family, Farouq was subjected to everything: beatings, the deprivation of food, and medical neglect. It was the medical neglect, however, that they say is what led Farouq to where he is now: receiving palliative care at a Ramallah hospital, waiting for death to knock on his door.

“We still can’t really process or understand how we got here,” Husam Issa, 33, Farouq’s older brother, told Mondoweiss. “We are shocked and devastated. The doctors told us there is nothing we can do except pray for mercy from God.”

Thrown in administrative detention

Farouq, a resident of the Ramallah-area village of Abu Skheidim in the occupied West Bank, was arrested in late August by the Israeli military. The arrest came as a shock to the family, who had only just gotten Farouq back home two months prior, after he completed a four year sentence in Israeli prison.

Farouq was sentenced by an Israeli military court to six months in administrative detention, a policy that allows Israel to imprison Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial. The policy is frequently weaponized against former prisoners like Farouq to allow Israel to throw them back in prison under closed files of “secret evidence.” In short, neither Farouq nor his family were told why he was arrested and put back in jail for another six months.

“For the first month or so of his detention, as far as we knew, things were okay. His lawyer was in contact with him, and health-wise, everything was fine,” Husam told Mondoweiss.

But on October 7, everything changed.

After Hamas’s attack on October 7, Israel began cracking down on Palestinians everywhere, including inside Israeli prisons. Israeli prison authorities conducted widespread raids, transferring prisoners, confiscating their personal belongings, limiting their food intake, and shutting them out from the outside world. That meant no televisions to watch the news, no lawyer visits, and no family visits.

“All of a sudden, we stopped hearing any news from Farouq and his lawyer. No one could go visit him or even speak to him. But as far as we knew, everything was fine,” Husam said.

In late November, after not hearing from Farouq for more than a month, his family got a knock at their door. It was a young man from the area, recently released from prison, who had urgent news about Farouq.

“Do you know what’s happening to your brother?” Husam recounted, repeating the first question asked by the young man, who said he was in the same prison as Farouq before he was released.

“When we told him that we didn’t know what he was talking about, he told us that our brother was dying. And we needed to save him before it was too late,” Husam said.

Beatings and medical neglect 

Through information gathered from the young man, as well as Farouq after he was released, the family was able to piece together what happened to him.

After October 7, Israeli prison authorities began conducting frequent and arbitrary prison transfers — a common tactic of collective punishment used against Palestinian prisoners, meant to tire them mentally and physically by breaking apart any political groups organized in prison, splitting prisoners up from cellmates with whom they may have formed bonds after longer sentences, and by subjecting them to arduous journeys between prisons.

During one such prisoner transfer from the Ofer prison in Ramallah to the Nafha prison, located in the Naqab desert, Farouq was badly beaten by Israeli prison guards along with several other Palestinian prisoners.

According to Husam, an Israeli prison guard forcefully hit Farouq in the stomach with what he described as a large iron baton.

It wasn’t long after that Farouq began experiencing a number of symptoms, including severe abdominal pain and stomach swelling. When Farouq requested medical care, he was denied and thrown by Israeli guards into solitary confinement instead, where he was subjected to sleep and food deprivation.

Farouq’s condition continued to deteriorate, with his stomach swelling to “the size of a watermelon.” He experienced weakness, vomiting, and dyschezia, and at one point, he was unable to pass a bowel movement for several weeks. Farouq began losing weight rapidly, with his family saying he lost more than 30 kilograms (66 pounds) in the span of a month.

With his health severely deteriorating, he was transferred to the Ramleh prison clinic, an Israeli prison clinic notorious for its medical neglect of sick Palestinian prisoners. There, he was treated with painkillers. With no real medical care to address his serious ailments, his health continued to deteriorate.

Eventually, Farouq’s condition became so serious that he was admitted to an Israeli hospital, the Soroka Medical Center, on November 29. For several days, he underwent a number of tests and procedures. A week later, he was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and began receiving a number of intravenous drugs to help with the pain. A week after he received his diagnosis, he was transferred back to the custody of Israeli Prison Service (IPS) doctors.

During the entire ordeal, Farouq’s family was unaware of what was happening to him and that he was being diagnosed by Israeli doctors with terminal cancer.

“We still had no information about him, but every day after the young man visited us to tell us about Farouq’s condition, we were doing everything we could to try and reach him or get any information about him,” Husam told Mondoweiss.

“We contacted everybody. Human rights groups, prisoners’ groups, lawyers, PA officials — everybody. Just to try and get someone to be able to visit him and assess his condition.”

According to Husam, every appeal from all the organizations, officials, and lawyers that contacted the IPS on behalf of the family was refused.

‘He came back as skin and bones’

After nearly a month of trying to obtain any information about Farouq, the family got a call from their lawyer on December 20, saying he was informed by the IPS that he would be able to visit Farouq in prison.

“We were relieved, but then just one hour later, we got another call saying that Farouq was going to be dropped off at the Nil’in checkpoint near Ramallah and that we should go pick him up,” Husam said.

“We were shocked and confused because Farouq still had two months left on his administrative detention order. And they [Israel] don’t just release anyone like that,” Husam said, adding that the family rushed to the checkpoint, fearful of the state in which they would find their son.

Their worst fears were confirmed when they saw Farouq approaching them.

“We didn’t recognize him. We were totally shocked. It was a horrifying sight. He looked like skin and bones,” Husam recounted.

The family rushed Farouq to a hospital in Ramallah, where doctors did a number of tests to confirm the diagnosis given by Israeli doctors: Farouq had terminal stomach cancer that was spreading to other parts of his body. He didn’t have much time left, and all the family could do was give him palliative care.

“I can’t believe it. Now we are just waiting for him to die,” Husam said, expressing shock and disbelief held by his family. “When Farouq left us, he was perfectly healthy. When he returned, he came back a ghost.”

The family is unsure about what role the heavy beating that Farouq took in Israeli prison contributed to his health situation. They are sure, however, that the medical neglect faced by Farouq played a part in his deterioration.

“For weeks, Farouq was complaining to them about his pain, but they did nothing. They waited until he got so bad that they had no choice but to take him to the hospital,” Husam said, adding that the family believes if he had been treated when he first began exhibiting symptoms, maybe things would have ended up differently.

“The Israelis did not give him a chance for treatment. They also didn’t give him a chance to inform his family, nor did they inform us themselves,” Husam said. “This is a crime — what was done to him and to us, his family.”

“If it weren’t for his cellmate who was released from prison, we wouldn’t know anything about Farouq. Maybe he would have died in prison, and we wouldn’t have known until it was too late.”

Though it is too late for his brother, Husam hopes that the photos of Farouq will stir something in people and cause them to act.

“I hope after people see these pictures of Farouq, that it will make the world move, make them take action for the Palestinian prisoners. Look at Farouq before and after. Look at this crime. I can’t comprehend it,” he said, comparing the treatment of Palestinian prisoners by Israel to the treatment of Jewish victims of the Nazis during the Holocaust.

“The world must open their eyes. Look at what is happening to our prisoners. It cannot be ignored,” he said. “We don’t want our people to come back [from prison] in coffins. We want them to come back alive and healthy. That is our right, and that is their right, too.”

BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

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