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Israel medical negligence behind COVID-19 surge among Palestinian inmates, Hamas says

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows Palestinian political prisoners in Ofer Prison, southwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says Israel’s medical negligence is behind a surge of COVID-19 among Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Dozens of Palestinian inmates in two Israeli prisons, namely Ofer and Eshel, have tested positive for the contagious disease, the Palestinian Information Center, citing human rights sources, reported on Sunday.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, some 100 inmates contracted the coronavirus in Ofer (sections 17 and 22) while ten others tested positive in the Eshel prison, including Nael al-Barghouthi, who has entered his 42nd year in Israeli jails.

Figures by the Palestinian Information Center on Monday showed that, with new patients, 526 Palestinian prisoners have contracted COVID-19 in Israeli jails since the beginning of the pandemic.

Hamas blamed the Israeli regime for the spread of coronavirus among Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails, saying the new surge was the result of deliberate medical negligence. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement on Sunday night that the spread of the disease among the prisoners revealed the absence of any preventive measures or primary care for those prisoners.

The Hamas official held the Tel Aviv regime fully responsible for the lives of Palestinian inmates, urging the Red Cross and human rights groups to provide whatever is necessary to protect those prisoners and prevent further spread of the disease among them.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences. Over 540 detainees, including women and minors, are under Israel’s administrative detention, in which Israel keeps the detainees without charge for up to six months, a period which can be extended an infinite number of times.

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