Mass-murdering terrorist Nasser Abu Hmeid dies of cancer in Israeli custody

A founding member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade who had been convicted of killing seven Israelis and five Palestinian collaborators died of cancer in Israeli custody Tuesday morning, Palestinian officials said.

Nasser Abu Hmeid, 51, was diagnosed with lung cancer last August and his condition has since worsened, with cancer cells spreading throughout his body, including his brain, according to the Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Commission.

The commission joined other Palestinian groups in accusing the Israeli prison service of negligence and the premeditated killing of Abu Hmeid, saying his cancer should have been caught earlier and treated better.

The Prison Service denied the allegation, saying the prisoner received “regular and intensive care from IPS medical staff and outside professionals.”

In recent months, Palestinian groups have also called for Abu Hmeid’s release due to his medical condition and threatened terrorist attacks if he died in Israeli custody. Similar threats have been made against other frail security prisoners in the past, but they are rarely carried out.

After Abu Hmeid’s death, some Palestinian groups called for a general strike in the West Bank, including the Palestinian Bar Association and the General Union of Palestinian Teachers, who called for work to cease from 11 am Tuesday.

In 2002, Abu Hmeid, the right-hand man of arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti, was convicted of murdering seven Israelis – Eliyahu Cohen, Binyamin and Talia Kahane, Gad Rejwan, Yosef Habi, Eli Dahan and Salim Barakat – in a series of terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada, which he either carried out personally or led from afar. During the trial, the Israeli authorities referred to him as a “killing machine”.

He was also convicted of 12 counts of attempted murder and a number of other security-related charges, and has served multiple life sentences.

He had also previously been found guilty of murdering five Palestinians who had collaborated with Israel in 1990, but was released a few years later under the Oslo Accords.

As his health deteriorated, Abu Hmeid was rushed to Shamir Medical Center on Monday, where he was given medication for his pain.

According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, his mother was in the process of getting permission to visit him in the hospital when he died. His family were previously allowed to visit him in hospital in January after he underwent surgery to remove a tumor on his lungs.

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