RAMALLAH, Sunday, January 03, 2021 (WAFA) – Minister of Health Mai Alkaila raised the alarm today about an imminent COVID-19 outbreak in the densely crowded Israeli prisons where hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners are currently held.
She said in a statement today that all of the Israeli prisons are potential epicenters of the pandemic, which means the lives of many prisoners, especially the elderly and the sick, are at high risk due to overcrowding and the lack of distancing.
Alkaila held the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for the lives of the prisoners especially in the Naqab prison, where more than 1200 Palestinian prisoners are currently incarcerated, including elderly and sick prisoners.
The Health Minister renewed calls for the international community to pressure the Israeli occupation authorities to immediately release the sick and elderly prisoners due to the health risks currently facing them.
She also called for the designation of an impartial committee to take care of the health status of the prisoners and supervise their testing results.
Ever since the outbreak of the pandemic in early March 2020, a total of 140 Palestinian prisoners have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Out of about 4500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli detention, estimates suggest that 700 are sick, 300 of whom have chronic and serious diseases such as cancer and are in need of immediate healthcare and medical treatment.
Prisoner Foad Shobaki, 81 years old, is the eldest Palestinian detainee in Israeli prisons.