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PA officials lobby for released prisoner to ‎get medical treatment abroad

     ‎“Released prisoner Muhammad Al-Taj has ‎postponed the beginning of his indefinite ‎hunger strike. This [decision was made] ‎after he received the Palestinian ‎Presidency’s guarantees and [was told] ‎that he will be sent for treatment abroad if ‎he receives the consent of one of the ‎European hospitals specializing in lung ‎transplants.‎ Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Karake ‎said… The subject of prisoner Al-Taj’s ‎treatment had been raised a few months ‎ago and a written request had been sent ‎to several countries in order to provide him ‎with the necessary treatment. However, ‎his trip has been delayed due to the ‎medical procedures adopted by these ‎countries…‎ ‎[Minister] Karake noted that President ‎Mahmoud Abbas is dealing with Al-Taj’s ‎issue and said that he has instructed that ‎the prisoner be treated whatever the price ‎may be and in the place and time of his ‎choosing. He made it clear that this ‎depends on procedures in countries that ‎perform such operations, contrary to talk ‎about incompetence with regard to ‎prisoner Al-Taj’s matter.‎ On her part, District Governor of Ramallah ‎and El-Bireh, Laila Ghannam, said that ‎treating released prisoner Muhammad Al-‎Taj is a national duty that cannot be ‎neglected.”‎

Note: Muhammad Al-Taj was sentenced to 14 ‎years in prison. He was released for ‎medical reasons after serving two thirds of his ‎prison term. PMW has been unable to verify ‎the crime for which Al-Taj was imprisoned. ‎However, all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli ‎prisoners are convicted for security offenses ‎and terror related crimes. According to the PA ‎Prisoner's Law, the word "prisoner" is defined as ‎‎"anyone imprisoned in the occupation's [Israel's] ‎prisons as a result of his participation in the ‎struggle against the occupation." (Ch. 1 of Law of ‎Prisoners, 2004/19,, accessed May ‎‎9, 2011)‎