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Israel rights groups appeal against minister’s orders not to vaccinate Palestine prisoners

January 11, 2021 at 10:14 am

Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in Tel Aviv on 23 December 2020 [Nir Keidar/Anadolu Agency]

Five Israeli human rights organisations have petitioned the Supreme Court against the Israeli Public Security Minister Amir Ohana’s directives to prevent Palestinians detained by Israel from receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in violation of mandatory Health Ministry guidelines.

The petition was preceded by a memorandum sent by the Adalah – Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights to the Israeli government’s judicial adviser and to Ohana demanding they revoke the minister’s orders.

In its memo, Adalah emphasised that the decision to exclude Palestinian prisoners from the vaccination process violates their rights and called on Israel to refrain from infringing upon the health and human rights of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli facilities, as authorities have been doing on a consistent basis since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

The memo emphasised that the right to obtain medical care in general and for prisoners in particular is guaranteed under international law and in human rights charters and treaties signed by Israel.

Ohana has ordered the vaccination of Israeli prison workers only.

READ: PA says vaccines could come in March, accuses Israel of shirking duty to supply them