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PCHR Calls upon the Israeli Authorities to Provide Adequate Healthcare to Protect Palestinian Prisoners from Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Ref: 14/2020

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) sent 3 letters to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israeli Prison Service (IPS) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) under its efforts to protect the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails over fears of contracting the novel coronavirus.

On 05 April 2020, PCHR sent an urgent letter to the Israeli Ministry of Defense and IPS in order to promptly provide the adequate healthcare and medical treatment for Palestinian Prisoners and to take all necessary precautionary and preventive measures to protect them from risks of infection with coronavirus- COVID19, in accordance with the Israeli occupation authorities’ responsibility for the life of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails as codified in the international humanitarian law (IHL).  PCHR also called upon the Ministry and IPS to release immediately the Palestinian prisoners, particularly those sick, the elderly, women and children.

PCHR also sent a letter to PHR as part of their joint cooperation, demanding its intervention and requesting a committee of medical specialists to follow up prisoners’ health conditions in the Israeli jails and to visit them regularly in order to ensure they receive adequate healthcare.

These letters came upon Israeli authorities’ ban on PCHR’s lawyer from visiting prisoners and denying prisoners’ family visits, amplified by PCHR’s concerns over the spread of coronavirus among the 5000 Palestinian prisoners, including 180 children, 43 women and 700 patients, foreshadowing a real human catastrophe.