4 Palestinian prisoners may have Coronavirus disease as Israel restricts access to medical care, supplies
Palestinian prisoners’ rights groups have accused Israeli prison authorities of engaging in gross medical negligence and abuse by not ensuring adequate protection for Palestinian prisoners against the Coronavirus
March 20, 2020
At a time when the world is reeling under the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus disease, Israel has heightened its abuse of Palestinian prisoners and administrative/political detainees. Measures introduced by Israeli authorities, purportedly to fight the virus have furthered the ordeal of the prisoners. Cases have been reported of prisoners being denied access to cleaning products and asked to use socks as face masks. This is in addition to a ban on visits by families and lawyers.
On March 19, Thursday, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) reported that Israeli prison authorities had informed them that four Palestinian prisoners in the Megiddo prison in Israel have contracted the virus. According to the PPS, the prisoners in sections 5, 6 and 10 of the prison were infected after one of them came in contact with an infected Israeli investigator while being interrogated in the city of Petah Tikva.
As per the statement by the PPS, “The prison administration has officially informed the inmates about the infections, and everyone is on high alert. Prisoners are facing today the danger of infection from prison guards and investigators.”
The four prisoners have reportedly been isolated from the rest of the prison population.
Meanwhile, the prison authorities have denied that the prisoners have contracted the virus, claiming that the four are only suspected cases because of contact with an infected person, and that they are not showing any symptoms of the disease.