The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) yesterday called on Israeli occupation authorities to take urgent action to stop the spread of COVID-19 among Palestinian prisoners.
In a letter, Adalah urged the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to “act immediately to halt the spread of the virus and to protect Palestinian prisoners,” pointing out that the number of infected prisoners is now reported to have risen to at least 87, as of Thursday.
Palestinian prisoners infected with COVID-19 in Gilbo’a prison rise to 91. pic.twitter.com/Rx3WnGVcuH
— Aya Isleem 🇵🇸 #Gaza (@AyaIsleemEn) November 6, 2020
On November 2, Adalah said, an IPS spokeswoman revealed that 11 prisoners held in Gilboa prison and classified by Israel as “security prisoners” had tested positive for COVID-19. The next day, 54 more prisoners were confirmed infected, and then an additional four.
This figure, according to Adalah, constitutes approximately 19 percent of the total population of 450 “security prisoners” in Gilboa prison.
Adalah noted that it had filed an urgent petition to the Israeli Supreme Court in May demanding that Israeli authorities take all necessary actions to protect the 450 “security prisoners” being held in the overcrowded Gilboa prison from a coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19 outbreak among Palestinian security prisoners was preventable https://t.co/pteC7vVBhs
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) November 9, 2020
However, the court ruled that Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons have no right to social distancing protection against the COVID-19.
Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany called on the IPS to take immediate action to “ensure that the wing in which the infected prisoners are living, designated as a medical isolation bloc, allows for the appropriate conditions to provide sufficient protection and care for prisoners.”
JUST RELEASED: Delving into the Heart of Palestinian Resistance: These powerful, yet vulnerable, men and women will take you on a journey – of stories that go beyond the limits of human endurance. #Palestine #Resistance #documentary pic.twitter.com/4CH4Weg8v3
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) September 7, 2020
She also called on the IPS to “clarify the state of medical care provided to infected prisoners, including the availability of intensive care equipment, respirators and disinfectant materials.”
The attorney also called for ensuring the availability of PPE to guarantee personal hygiene intended to slow or prevent the spread of the virus.
Families, she added, should “receive updates on diagnosis and medical conditions of prisoners, and prisoners can maintain telephone contact with families to provide updates on their medical status.”
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)