Pandemic spread threatening prisoners amid Israeli medical negligence

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Palestinian prisoners live under difficult conditions of detention in light of the repressive and abuse measures against them. And a month ago, there were clear decisions by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security to take numerous repressive measures that amounted to undermining the rights of prisoners which were to clear the quantities of cleaning materials, reducing the length of the visit, increasing solitary confinement policy and exorbitant financial fines.

About 5,000 prisoners  are currently lying in occupation prisons, among them at least 700 who have sicknesses, including chronic diseases, while 200 of them are juveniles and children.

In a live interview, spokesman of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), Abdullah Zghari told PNN that prisoners are going through extremely difficult circumstances in light of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic,  especially in light of the failure of the  Israeli Prison Authority to take any measures to limit the spread of the virus among the detainees.

Zghari said that one prisoner who was transferred from the Negev detention center to Ashkelon and was interviewed by an Israeli doctor who was later found to be infected with the virus.

The prisoner was isolated for four days before the Prison Authority Administration announced that the doctor was cured. The prisoner was returned to the detainee without taking any measures of examination, of quarantine measures amongst prisoners.

“The conditions are very difficult,” Zghari said. “We hold the Prison Authority Administration responsible for everything that takes place after taking any preventive measures, whether providing medical examinations or providing sterilizers and sterilizing prison. Conditions inside the detention centers are not appropriate for a decent human life,” he added.

Zghari added that in the first days there was communication between the detainees and the lawyer of the Prisoners Society where they talked about measures taken by the Prison Administration to protect themselves, as the courts were postponed, and the prisoners are extended in absentia. Today there are new decisions not to allow lawyers to visit the prisoners, and also to prevent visits by the families Prisoners, and if the ban on visiting is a preventive measure, there must be an alternative, which is to allow prisoners to make phone calls to their families.

Meanwhile, the families of prisoners live in constant fears for the lives of their loved ones in prison. Families demanded the release of their children and providing the least required essentials for life that keeps them away from this epidemic by spraying rooms and providing sterilizers and medical examinations, measures that have not yet been implemented by the prison administration.

“We are facing a racist occupation that does not care about the life of the Palestinian person, through the policy of oppression and the persecution of prisoners in the occupation prisons, they are hostages that do not deal with them as prisoners of war, they are not provided with the slightest component of human life, the international organization has a great responsibility to provide a decent life for these militants, as happened A few months ago, two prisoners died of cancer, and we have not seen any official action that contributes to the launch of a belt that breathes its last and hopes that he will die and be martyred in the arms of his mother,” Zghari added.

At the end of the interview, Al-Zaghari paid tribute to the people of the Bethlehem governorate, which unified all its crews and efforts to limit the spread of the virus, and sent a message to the families of the detainees, despite the difficult conditions they face, but the hope remains for their release and the occupation government of the need to intervene to protect the prisoners and they bear full responsibility for their health.

Yesterday, Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh called on international organizations to intervene to release the prisoners, especially those who suffer from illnesses and the elderly so that this epidemic will not spread among them in the absence of any health care by the prison administration.