Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Shtayyeh Calls On Israel to Release Sick, Children, Female Detainees

Shtayyeh Calls On Israel to Release Sick, Children, Female Detainees

Monday, 23 March, 2020 - 10:30
A replica of a former Israeli prison in Gaza to help illuminate the plight of Palestinians jailed in Israel (File photo: Reuters)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on Israel to immediately release sick, children, and female detainees imprisoned by the occupation state, holding it responsible for protecting the prisoners in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

A number of Palestinians have warned about the coronavirus spread inside prisons after unconfirmed information indicated that some detainees may have been infected. They also doubted health care provided for the prisoners was prepared for such pandemic.

The Head of the Palestinian Prisoners' Society (PPS), Qadura Fares, said he was concerned by the measures and precautions taken by the Israeli occupation with prisoners in Megiddo prison suspected of having contracted coronavirus.

Last week, PPS said that four Palestinian prisoners in Megiddo Sections 5, 6 and 10 were confirmed to have contracted the virus through one Israeli investigator. It indicated that the infections started with one inmate who recently came into contact with the officer during interrogation.

Israeli Prison Authority denied that any detainees were infected with the virus, saying it has isolated a number of them for coming in contact with the officer who was tested positive.

But Fares told Voice of Palestine radio that the prison administration has concealed the results of the tests.

Fares warned that the behavior and measures inside Megiddo prison would have been less alarming, had there just been suspected cases.

He feared Israeli occupation will test drugs on the prisons, pointing out that this happened in the past.

For its part, the committee representing detainees within the Israeli occupation prisons said that it would deal with the four isolated prisoners in Megiddo prison as though they are infected with Coronavirus unless the prison administration demonstrated the opposite by allowing them to communicate with their families at least.

The committee stressed that it does not believe the prison administration’s account, adding that only the prisoners can confirm or deny whether they have been infected.

Until now, occupation prison authority does not allow the prisoners to communicate with their families, according to the committee, adding that it highly doubts the administration’s statement that there are zero cases.

Editor Picks