Israeli occupation’s deliberate medical negligence at prisons makes Palestinian prisoners more vulnerable to life threatening diseases

The Israeli occupation authorities continue to arrest hundreds of Palestinians, including children, women, the elderly, the sick and the wounded, regardless of risks that may threaten prisoners due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic

The occupation continues this inhuman behavior while all humanity is working to confront this deadly global disease. It has arrested 1363 Palestinians since the outbreak of the disease last March.

In a report on Tuesday, the Palestinian prisoners and human rights institutions said that the number of prisoners in the occupation’s detention camps reached 4,700 by the end of last month, including 160 children and 41 women. They pointed out that the occupation authorities continued their arbitrary actions and abuses against the detainees and they didn’t take necessary precautionary measures or ensure the sterilization and cleaning materials to protect the prisoners from the risk of infection with the Coronavirus. These acts have exacerbated the prisoners and their families’ concerns in the light of overcrowding in the detention centers and lack of ventilation which are suitable conditions for the spread of diseases and epidemics.

 Two days ago, the Prisoners and Ex-prisoners Affairs Commission announced that the 46 years old prisoner Kamal Abu Waar, who has been in the occupation jails for the past 17 years and who has cancer, has now been infected with the Corona virus. The commission clarified that the deliberate medical negligence by the occupation authorities has made prisoners more vulnerable to the virus and to all other life threatening diseases.

It called on all international organizations and institutions concerned in prisoners' affairs to send an international committee to review the conditions of the prisoners in the Israeli occupation jails, to monitor the health measures necessary to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic there and to pressure the occupation authorities to release all prisoners, especially the sick, the elderly, children and women.

On its part, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) asserted that over the past months, the organization has warned the international community of the risk of the virus spreading in Israeli detention camps and appealed to all states and human rights organizations to intervene. However, the occupation’s noncompliance with these calls led to the martyrdom of the prisoner Saadi al-Gharabli a few days ago due to medical negligence and to the infection of prisoner Kamal Abu Waar with the Coronavirus.

The PLO made it clear that these Israeli violations against the Palestinian prisoners necessitate the international community to take immediate and effective action and to work as to send an international inspection and investigation committee to the occupation jails in order to see the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners and make sure that necessary measures are provided to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus inside the jails.

Hamda Mustafa