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12 Palestinian prisoners infected with coronavirus

November 2, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Palestinian men sit in their brown prison uniforms behind glass talking on phones to relatives 05 March 2006 at the Gilboa prison, east of the northern Israeli town of Afula [HAGAI AHARON/AFP via Getty Images]

Twelve Palestinian prisoners tested positive for coronavirus in Gilboa prison, a facility in northern Israel, reported Wafa news agency.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) the infected detainees are in Section 3 of the Israeli prison and have come in contact with most of the inmates in the block, which means more prisoners may test positive for the virus.

The prison houses about 360 Palestinians classified by Israel as “security prisoners”.

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

PPS stressed the need for international human rights institutions, led by the International Red Cross, to monitor the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israel to make sure they get the proper health treatment in light of the spread of coronavirus in the prisons.

READ: Israel starts human trials on COVID-19 vaccine

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

In August, Israel’s top court rejected a petition made by the Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights calling on prison authorities to implement COVID-19 protective guidelines for inmates at Gilboa prison.

Israel has consistently failed to provide prisoners with basic precautionary services since the beginning of the pandemic, and even withdrew some food and hygiene products from prison commissaries.

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.