The false claim by the Palestinian Authority that Israeli medically neglects, and even experiments on, Palestinian security prisoners played a significant role in the murder last month of Esther Horgen.

The main suspect in the murder, Muhammad Cabha, 40, from a village in the Jenin area, told Israeli interrogators he decided to carry out a terrorist attack in response to, among other things, the death in Israeli custody of a security prisoner he knew, Kamal Abu Wa’er.

Abu Wa’er, who was serving six life sentences for involvement in the murder of at least four Israelis, recently died of cancer in prison. During his illness, the official Palestinian media launched an incitement campaign, citing top P.A. officials falsely claiming Israel was denying him proper treatment. Once Abu Wa’er had died, they intensified the libel, claiming his death was the result of “deliberate medical neglect.” 

According to Cabha himself, believing this to be true, he decided to kill an Israeli in revenge. Finding a secluded spot in Samaria, he “identified a Jewish woman walking alone,” took a rock and bludgeoned her to death.  

Cabha’s admission is timely, as it highlights the gross double standard applied to the P.A. As U.S. President Donald Trump stands accused of incitement to violence for a speech he gave at a rally on Jan. 6, after which a number of supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol building, here is a clear example of P.A. propaganda being the direct cause of terrorism against innocent Israeli citizens—as admitted by the terrorist himself—and yet the world stays silent. 

Nor is this an isolated case—in the last six months alone, Palestinian Media Watch has identified at least 10 examples of this sort of libel.

These include PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs director Qadri Abu Bakr alleging that Palestinian prisoners have died of “deliberate medical neglect,” that Israel has a policy of “deliberate medical murder against the prisoners,” and that, under orders from Israeli politicians, Israel’s Prison Service deliberately commits medical crimes against the prisoners. 

Similarly, Fatah has alleged that the prisoners are being medically “assassinated,” while a released prisoner added to the libel by claiming that Israel never treats sick prisoners and uses them to test experimental drugs.

“This is deliberate and calculated neglect. There is no diagnosis for a prisoner. You go to the clinic or to the so-called clinic, [and the doctor] doesn’t diagnose your illness. … He gives you experiments,” the prisoner told an official P.A. TV program.

These claims were again rolled out in the case of Abu Wa’er

Top PLO official Hanan Ashrawi claimed that Wa’er’s death was “a result of deliberate medical neglect” and “proof of the severity of the situation in the occupation’s prisons, the severity of the conditions of the Israeli detention centers, the various types of torture from which the prisoners are suffering, and the fact that they are receiving barbaric and cruel treatment from those responsible for the prisons.”  

Israeli prison conditions ‘generally met international standards’

Meanwhile, Abu Bakr accused Israel of murdering Wa’er. According to the official P.A. daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Abu Bakr “held the occupation government fully responsible for this crime, which was committed in a premeditated fashion by the [Israeli] Prison Service that knew well the severity of prisoner Abu Wa’er’s health condition, which necessitated his immediate release.” 

Bizarrely, the P.A. made this claim even while admitting that Israel did treat Wa’er’s cancer. 

A separate report in the P.A. daily noted: “He [Wa’er] underwent radiation therapy at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, which is in the 1948 territories [i.e., Israel], after deliberate medical neglect by the occupation’s [Israeli] Prison Service. … The prisoner is expected to undergo additional radiation therapy. He is also anticipated to undergo an additional surgery to insert a permanent plastic tube into his throat.” 

Needless to say, therefore, the claims that Israel neglects the health of Palestinian prisoners are baseless. The International Red Cross regularly visits the Palestinian security prisoners and has not documented or accused Israel of any “medical neglect,” “premeditated murder” or “medical experiments.”

On the contrary, a report from the U.S. State Department states that Israeli prison conditions “generally met international standards, according to the International Commission of the Red Cross.”

Last year, the Red Cross visited 90 percent of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and did not report any medical neglect or improper medical treatment. 

In addition, Israeli media has reported that Palestinian terrorist prisoners in fact receive medication that is not even part of the medical service insurance coverage for Israeli citizens to receive for free, and for which Israelis have to pay.

According to PMW director Itamar Marcus, “It is unconscionable that the global community allows the Palestinian Authority to spread these libels and slanders against the Jewish state without condemnation. As evidenced by the heinous murder of Esther Horgen, which has left six children without a mother, these lies have devastating consequences for Israeli families. Until the P.A. ceases its policy of hate indoctrination, there can be no hope of coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians.”


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