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Palestinian Detainees Close Sections, Return Food

Palestinian Detainees Close Sections, Return Food

Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 - 10:30
A man in Gaza plays the role of a prisoner during a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails. Reuters file photo
Ramallah - Asharq Al-Awsat

Palestinian detainees have escalated their moves against Israeli prison authorities, closing sections and returning meals on Tuesday, in protest against new policies imposed under the pretext of the spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said: “Detainees in several central jails, started this morning to return meals and close the sections, in opposition to the policies of the Israeli occupation prisons that aim to strip them from their rights while exploiting the current COVID-19 situation to punish them.”

The statement added that instead of helping the prisoners deal with the disease, the authorities removed from the prisons’ canteens 140 items, including essential cleaning material required to provide protection against the virus.

It noted that prisoners were also denied visits by their families and lawyers under the pretext of preventive measures against the virus.

There are 5,000 prisoners in occupation jails, including 42 female prisoners and 180 children. The Prisoners Society says that the number of patients has reached to around 700, of whom more than 200 suffer from chronic diseases.

The Palestinian Authority has demanded Israel to release them and take the necessary measures to protect them from the spread of the coronavirus.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh urged the Red Cross for a swift visit to prisoners in the occupation jails to conduct the necessary tests amid reports that some detainees were infected with the virus.

The reports were denied by the Israeli authorities.

During a meeting on Tuesday with the head of the Red Cross mission in Jerusalem, Shtayyeh called for implementing international protocols to provide protection for prisoners in cases of epidemics.

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