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Palestinian convicted of murder dies in Israeli custody: officials

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Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

A Palestinian convicted over the killing of three Israelis died of cancer in custody Tuesday, officials said.

The death, which sparked Palestinian accusations of neglect, comes amid heightened tension with protests already scheduled in multiple places in the occupied West Bank Tuesday.

Israel's Prison Authority said a seriously ill unnamed "security prisoner" died after being transferred to an Israeli hospital.

Official Palestinian news agency Wafa identified him as Sami Abu Diyak, 36, saying he had suffered from terminal cancer and had been refused compassionate leave to be with his family.

He was arrested in 2002, during the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

The Prison Authority said he had been convicted for killing three people.

The Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission said tensions were high in Israeli prisons following the death.

Wafa carried what it said was a last message from Abu Diyak saying he had wanted to spend his last days with his mother and "die in her arms".

A statement from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said he held Israel responsible for Abu Diyak's death, alleging he was "subjected to the deliberate medical negligence practised by (Israeli) occupation authorities towards all prisoners".

The Palestinian Prisoners Club said he was the fifth Palestinian to die in Israeli custody in 2019.

Protests were expected later Tuesday for a Palestinian "day of rage" against a recent US decision to no longer consider settlements in the West Bank illegal.

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