Mar 26, 2020 06:37 UTC
  • Palestinian foreign ministry calls on Israel to release prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has called on the Israeli regime to immediately release over 5,000 Palestinian prisoners from its jails amidst rising cases of infection with a new coronavirus in the Occupied Territories.

According to Press TV, the ministry, in a statement released on Wednesday, announced that the Israeli Prisons Service (IPS) is not providing proper health protection to Palestinian prisoners, as Israeli authorities have demonstrated that they have no intention of easing apartheid to make sure Palestinians are able to face the epidemic under better conditions.

“Israel is in violation of its obligations under international law, the Geneva Conventions and human rights principles that demand Israel, as the occupying power, … take full and direct responsibility for the life and health of the prisoners,” the statement read.

“Palestine will continue to follow up on the health conditions of the prisoners in light of the outbreak of this pandemic with the relevant international parties, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),” it added.

Earlier in the day, a Palestinian political prisoner at Nafha Prison in the southern part of the Israeli-Occupied Territories set fire this morning to a room used by the prison guards to protest the prison administration’s neglect of the health conditions for the prisoners.

According to Qadri Abu Bakr, Head of the Commission for Prisoners Affairs at the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the prisoner, identified as Ayman Sharabati, did the action when prisoners were taking their daily walk out of their cells in protest at the way the IPS deals with the health situation in prisons and its failure to take enough precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus among the detainees.

He said the prisoner was immediately placed in solitary confinement.