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CurrentMiddle East

Palestinians in Israeli Jails Fear For Life After Rise in Coronavirus

CurrentMiddle East

Palestinians in Israeli Jails Fear For Life After Rise in Coronavirus

Concerned now with the intensified spread of the virus and how inept the Israeli prisons are in terms of taking the necessary precautions against it, Palestinians are worried that those who remain in the prisons are most at risk. 

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As the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise in the occupied West Bank and Palestine, many are fearing for the health and lives of Palestinians who continue to be held in unsanitary and crowded Israeli jails.

On Friday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that the number of cases in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem has risen to 34, with 35 in total in the entire West Bank. While panic and fear continue to spread as well, an even more worrying development has happened: one case of coronavirus has reached Israeli prisons where Palestinians are held, where it has been confirmed that the spread of it may be highly likely.

The Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Committee has reported that after coming into contact with an Israeli doctor who had tested positive for the virus, at least one prisoner at the Ashkelon prison has come into contact with others.

The prisoner who had come in contact with the doctor, along with 19 other prisoners, are now being held in quarantine to monitor the situation. The total number of those who may have come in contact with either the doctor who tested positive or the prisoner who come in contact is yet unknown, however.

In addition, there have also been reports of suspected cases of coronavirus in two other prisons, the Ramleh prison in central Israel and the Moscobiya detention centre in Jerusalem. In both centers, prisoners have reportedly already been put into quarantine after coming into contact with Israeli prison officers suspected of being exposed to the virus.

Concerned now with the intensified spread of the virus and how inept the Israeli prisons are in terms of taking the necessary precautions against it, Palestinians are worried that those who remain in the prisons are most at risk.

Mohammed Abed Rabo, a former Palestinian prisoner and activist, told Middle East Eye:

The Israeli prisons are notoriously old, dirty, overcrowded, and lacking in basic hygiene supplies…In the best prison, you have between six to ten prisoners in a room, but in many cases, you have more than that.”

Rabo also claimed that despite Israeli claims that the prisoners who came in contact with the virus have been quarantined, these prisoners are merely being thrown into isolation cells and solitary confinement, without the proper care or hygiene needed:

How can they possibly be getting the proper care that they need, when they are just being thrown in these disgusting isolation cells? Is this how you deal with sick human beings?”

Israel has long had a worrying track record when it comes to “deliberate medical negligence” for Palestinians, both in and out of prison, according to human rights groups. And with the outbreak and panic around coronavirus, many are pointing to the fact that Israel is not adequately dealing with the current crisis among Palestinian prisoners.

Rabo explained that if Israel historically has never cared for the health and well-being of those in prison, there remains no precedent for Israeli prisons to seriously take into consideration the health of those in prisons now with the outbreak of coronavirus:

The doctors rarely come, patients with serious issues are often prescribed generic painkillers, and those who need treatments like dialysis and chemotherapy are not kept on a proper treatment schedule. So imagine if these prisoners are faced with a coronavirus outbreak, do you think they would be given proper treatment? Time and time again, they have shown they don’t care about Palestinian lives, especially our prisoners, so why would that change now?”

Coronavirus, now called COVID-19, is a virus that particularly affects the lungs and airways of a person, often with severe pneumonia-like symptoms. To learn more about COVID-19 and how to stay safe, visit the NHS website here.

Whilst you’re here…

The Muslim Vibe is a non-profit media platform aiming to inspire, inform and empower Muslims like you. Our goal is to provide a space for young Muslims to learn about their faith as well as news stories affecting them, so we can reclaim the Muslim narrative from the mainstream.

Your support will help us achieve this goal, and enable us to produce more original content. Your support can help us in the fight against Islamophobia, by building a powerful platform for young Muslims who can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.

Please consider supporting The Muslim Vibe, from as little as £1 – it will only take a minute. Thank you and Jazakallah.

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Concerned now with the intensified spread of the virus and how inept the Israeli prisons are in terms of taking the necessary precautions against it, Palestinians are worried that those who remain in the prisons are most at risk. 

As the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise in the occupied West Bank and Palestine, many are fearing for the health and lives of Palestinians who continue to be held in unsanitary and crowded Israeli jails.

On Friday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that the number of cases in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem has risen to 34, with 35 in total in the entire West Bank. While panic and fear continue to spread as well, an even more worrying development has happened: one case of coronavirus has reached Israeli prisons where Palestinians are held, where it has been confirmed that the spread of it may be highly likely.

The Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Committee has reported that after coming into contact with an Israeli doctor who had tested positive for the virus, at least one prisoner at the Ashkelon prison has come into contact with others.

The prisoner who had come in contact with the doctor, along with 19 other prisoners, are now being held in quarantine to monitor the situation. The total number of those who may have come in contact with either the doctor who tested positive or the prisoner who come in contact is yet unknown, however.

In addition, there have also been reports of suspected cases of coronavirus in two other prisons, the Ramleh prison in central Israel and the Moscobiya detention centre in Jerusalem. In both centers, prisoners have reportedly already been put into quarantine after coming into contact with Israeli prison officers suspected of being exposed to the virus.

Concerned now with the intensified spread of the virus and how inept the Israeli prisons are in terms of taking the necessary precautions against it, Palestinians are worried that those who remain in the prisons are most at risk.

Mohammed Abed Rabo, a former Palestinian prisoner and activist, told Middle East Eye:

The Israeli prisons are notoriously old, dirty, overcrowded, and lacking in basic hygiene supplies…In the best prison, you have between six to ten prisoners in a room, but in many cases, you have more than that.”

Rabo also claimed that despite Israeli claims that the prisoners who came in contact with the virus have been quarantined, these prisoners are merely being thrown into isolation cells and solitary confinement, without the proper care or hygiene needed:

How can they possibly be getting the proper care that they need, when they are just being thrown in these disgusting isolation cells? Is this how you deal with sick human beings?”

Israel has long had a worrying track record when it comes to “deliberate medical negligence” for Palestinians, both in and out of prison, according to human rights groups. And with the outbreak and panic around coronavirus, many are pointing to the fact that Israel is not adequately dealing with the current crisis among Palestinian prisoners.

Rabo explained that if Israel historically has never cared for the health and well-being of those in prison, there remains no precedent for Israeli prisons to seriously take into consideration the health of those in prisons now with the outbreak of coronavirus:

The doctors rarely come, patients with serious issues are often prescribed generic painkillers, and those who need treatments like dialysis and chemotherapy are not kept on a proper treatment schedule. So imagine if these prisoners are faced with a coronavirus outbreak, do you think they would be given proper treatment? Time and time again, they have shown they don’t care about Palestinian lives, especially our prisoners, so why would that change now?”

Coronavirus, now called COVID-19, is a virus that particularly affects the lungs and airways of a person, often with severe pneumonia-like symptoms. To learn more about COVID-19 and how to stay safe, visit the NHS website here.

Whilst you’re here…

The Muslim Vibe is a non-profit media platform aiming to inspire, inform and empower Muslims like you. Our goal is to provide a space for young Muslims to learn about their faith as well as news stories affecting them, so we can reclaim the Muslim narrative from the mainstream.

Your support will help us achieve this goal, and enable us to produce more original content. Your support can help us in the fight against Islamophobia, by building a powerful platform for young Muslims who can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.

Please consider supporting The Muslim Vibe, from as little as £1 – it will only take a minute. Thank you and Jazakallah.

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