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Adalah urges Israel court to force authorities to protect Palestinian detainees from COVID-19

Prisoners gesture from their cell Hasharon, an Israeli prison [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]
Prisoners can be seen through barbed wires from an Israeli prison, 9 November 2018 [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]

The Legal Centre for Arab Minority in Israel (Adalah) has filed a petition against Israeli authorities requesting that they offer proper protection for Palestinian prisoners to protect them from COVID-19, Al-Rai Al-Youm news website reported yesterday.

According to the paper, the petition was filed to the Israeli Supreme Court against the Israeli Prison Services, Interior Ministry and Health Ministry and called for affording protective measures that prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus among Palestinian prisoners held in Jalbou Prison.

Meanwhile, the petition called for reporting detailed information about the overcrowding in Israeli prisons, coronavirus tests and results and the protective measures taken to protect them, stressing that the details should be published in Arabic.

READ: UN officials call on Israel to release Palestinian children from prison

Maysana Murani, Adalah's lawyer, said that the petition highlighted the issue of crowding, which is considered one of the main causes of a potential outbreak of the coronavirus.

The lawyer said six prisoners are held in one cell which is only 22-metres squared, including common toilets and bathrooms. The prisoners use bunk bed and cannot follow rules of social distancing which were adopted by the Ministry of Health.

Murani said family visits had been banned since the outbreak of the global pandemic and prisoners have also been barred from meeting their lawyers. As a result, no news about the situation of prisoners is being disseminated.

READ: Call grows for protection of Palestinian prisoners amid spread of coronavirus

CoronavirusIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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