The Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation called on Tuesday for the international community to put pressure on Israel to release Palestinian prisoners from its jails before it is too late due to the spread of the coronavirus, Quds Net has reported.
Saeb Erekat sent his message to world leaders, including the Commissioner of the UN Human Rights Council, and the heads of government in the EU, the US, Russia, China, the UK and the OIC.
Erekat pointed out that the Palestinian prisoners are vulnerable to the virus with inadequate healthcare in prison. He also explained the dire situation and conditions in which the Israelis keep the prisoners, including the lack of appropriate medical care and sanitation kits, essential at this particular time.
According to human and prisoners' rights groups, the veteran Palestinian official noted, there are about 5,000 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel. Around 700 require regular medical care, while 200 suffer from serious and chronic diseases. He stressed the need to test prisoners for the virus following the news that three prison officers have tested positive.
Last week, the Palestinian Prisoners' Society said that three prisoners have also contracted Covid-19. Israel denied this, but the denial could not be verified because of the restrictions placed by the Israelis on the release of information about prisoners.