The Commission for Prisoners Affairs at the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has called on the United Nations to urge Israeli authorities to release Palestinian detainees held in Israeli jail amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus.
The head of the commission, Qadri Abu Bakr, was quoted by local media as saying the UN is “aware that Israeli jails are among the most crowded in the world”.
“They [Israeli jails] lack the minimum health and safety conditions – creating an environment for the spread of the coronavirus,” Abu Bakr said.
It’s impossible for anyone in the world to imagine the savage racism used against Palestinian prisoners during this worldwide pandemic. Israel refuses to let these prisoners free to be safe in their homes with their mothers, wives and children. It is time for everyone to speak up against these
The call came after Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan last week ordered the release of some 500 Israeli prisoners who have been placed under house arrest.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, at least four Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli prison have tested positive for COVID-19.
Prisoners have threatened to launch a hunger strike if measures to protect them against the virus are not implemented.
Last year, Erdan promised to worsen conditions for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including rationing water supplies and reducing the number of family visits.
Around 5,700 Palestinians, including numerous women and children, are currently detained in Israeli prisons.
According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club, 90 percent of prisoners have become ill while in prison due to poor conditions and negligence which may have exacerbated their health.
Source: The Palestine Chronicle