A UK-based rights group has called on the European governments and parliaments to put pressure on the Israeli regime to provide Palestinian prisoners with enough protection against the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement on Monday, Europal Forum rights group, which works in support of promotion and realization of Palestinian rights, expressed its deep concern over recent Israeli measures against Palestinian inmates, including removing cleaning stuff from jails' canteens.
The rights group further noted that prison guards regularly raid prison cells without putting on protective gloves and face masks, careless behaviors that pose threat to the lives of Palestinian prisoners as the number of Israeli jailers and interrogators suspected of carrying the coronavirus is rising.
The statement by Europal Forum also stressed that more than 5,000 Palestinians, including 43 women, 180 minors, 430 administrative detainees and some 700 others with health issues, are behind bars in Israeli jails under poor conditions.
London-based Europal Forum called for immediate action to ensure the safety of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails "before it is too late."
The COVID-19 pandemic is currently affecting 199 countries across the globe.
The Israeli regime officials say as of Monday 4,347 Israelis have tested positive for the disease, which has killed 16 others.
The Europal statement came just a day after the Asra Media Office, a Palestinian prisoner rights advocacy group, said that the Israeli regime was intentionally neglecting Palestinian prisoners, and denying them minimum health rights amid the coronavirus pandemic, warning that arbitrary policies used in Israeli jails “are jeopardizing the lives of prisoners.”
The rights group also called on local, Arab and international human rights groups and institutions to press the regime to put an end to its “indifference and irresponsible attitude” toward the Palestinian prisoners.
Last week, the Palestinian foreign ministry called on Tel Aviv to immediately release more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners from its jails over COVID-19 fears.
The ministry added that the Israeli Prisons Service (IPS) is not providing proper health protection to Palestinian prisoners, indicating that Israeli authorities have no intention to ease the apartheid system, and make sure that Palestinians are able to face the epidemic under better conditions.
Tel Aviv, the ministry stressed, must “take full and direct responsibility for the life and health of the prisoners.”
Palestinian and Arab activists on Saturday launched a media campaign, by using local radio stations and Twitter hashtags, to help save the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails from the danger of COVID-19, the Palestine Information Center reported on Sunday.
The Palestine Information Center reported that 62 official and private institutions from around the world, including societies, unions and media outlets have participated in the campaign so far.