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Israel’s ongoing arrests of Palestinians amid virus outbreak reflect regime’s brutality, criminality: Hamas

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian demonstrator during clashes following a protest in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem on January 29, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has strongly condemned the incessant Israeli arrest campaign against Palestinians, arguing that the move clearly shows the brutality and criminality of the Tel Aviv regime, especially as the cases of infection with a new coronavirus in the occupied territories are on the rise.

On Wednesday, member of the Hamas political bureau, Husam Badran, held the Israeli regime fully responsible for the life of Sheikh Omar al-Barghouthi, after Israeli troopers raided his home in the northern West Bank village of Kobar near Ramallah early on Tuesday and arrested him.

Badran noted that Israeli authorities’ attempts to take advantage of the emergency situation as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic to impose new faits accomplis on the ground are doomed to failure.

“Our people, who have proven their efficiency in fighting the coronavirus with their awareness and knowledge, will eventually win the battle against the virus of Zionist occupation,” he pointed out.

Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat called on the international community on Tuesday to pressure the Tel Aviv regime to immediately release Palestinian prisoners from its jails amidst the new coronavirus outbreak.

He stated that Palestinian detainees suffer from a lack of basic hygiene, and Israel’s policy of deliberate medical neglect in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The senior Palestinian official warned against the arbitrary measures recently taken by Israeli authorities against Palestinian prisoners, stating that the inmates have been deprived of cleaning materials and sanitizers.

Such practices could result in a catastrophe for more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, especially those who are the most susceptible. This includes elderly prisoners, those suffering from chronic diseases, inmates with weak immune systems as well as minors, Erekat highlighted.

On March 25, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates called on the Israeli regime to immediately release Palestinian prisoners from its detention centers amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The ministry announced in a statement that the Israeli Prisons Service (IPS) is not providing proper health protection to Palestinian prisoners, as Israeli authorities have demonstrated that they have no intention of easing apartheid to make sure Palestinians are able to face the epidemic under better conditions.

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