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12 Palestinian prisoners infected with coronavirus

September 9, 2020 at 3:22 pm

Israeli security forces take positions outside the Israeli-run Ofer prison, in the West Bank city, 5 December 2017 [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]

Twelve Palestinian prisoners have been officially diagnosed with the coronavirus in Israel’s Ofer Prison, reported Wafa news agency.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), the infected detainees are in Section 14 of Ofer Israeli prison, with five testing positive yesterday evening and seven this morning.

It also stated that a total of 27 detainees in various Israeli prisons have tested positive, in addition to two others who were officially diagnosed after being tested by the Palestinian Health Ministry immediately upon their release.

The number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons currently stands at around 5,000, including 700 patients and 41 women.

With the absence of ventilation and health measures, prisoners remain at high risk of contracting the virus.

READ: Gaza reports 162 new coronavirus cases

PPS stressed the need for international human rights institutions, led by the International Red Cross, to ensure the well-being of the detainees, and to send an independent medical committee to the prisons to test more detainees.

It also called to observe the living conditions in addition to ensuring adequate preventative measures are implemented.

Moreover, it accused Israel of trying to deceive the international community by withholding important facts, especially regarding the number of infected detainees in its prisons, warning that only Israel knows the exact numbers.

Since 1967, 226 Palestinians have died inside Israeli prisons, according to the Palestinian Authority, which said the main cause of death has been medical negligence at the hands of prison authorities.