Arab league Chief Voices Concern over Palestinian Prisoners amid Coronavirus
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit sent a letter to Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross Robert Mardini about the danger facing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails because of the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Aboul Gheit said Monday that the conditions of nearly 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are "serious". A large number of prisoners, including elderly, sick and those with low immunity, are the most vulnerable to the COVID-19, he underlined.
He also highlighted the lack of specialized doctors and necessary medical equipment to aid patients, in addition to the shortage of ventilators and disinfectants.
Abul Gheit expressed regret that Israel had taken a decision to release some Israeli criminal prisoners, while excluding Palestinians. This violates humanitarian and international law stipulated in the Fourth Geneva Convention.
He appealed to the ICRC chief to do "all in his capacity" to pressure the Israeli government to review its policies towards the prisoners and to take an immediate decision to release those who are most at risk of infection to avoid an "impending humanitarian catastrophe."