Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh today urged the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to take immediate action to visit and protect Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Today I met with the Head of the ICRC delegation in Jerusalem, Mr. Daniel Duvillard, to request the immediate action of the Red Cross; to visit and protect our prisoners,” said Shtayyeh, urging the ICRC official to work toward getting all the prisoners, primarily the ill, the elderly, the children and the women, released to protect them from the pandemic.
“To protect our prisoners from this pandemic, I renewed our demand for the release of all the prisoners, especially the ill, elderly, children, and women,” said Shtayyeh, who also stressed that the Israel Prisons Service “perform the necessary medical checks for the Palestinian prisoners in Megiddo Prison, who are suspected of being affected by the novel coronavirus, and to implement the international protocols for protecting prisoners, especially in cases of pandemic outbreaks.”
The prime minister also called on the ICRC to play a bigger role in occupied Jerusalem since Israel would not allow the Palestinian Authority or the city’s Palestinians to do anything to protect it from the deadly virus.
Shtayyeh also said Israel was mistreating the Palestinian workers and does not provide them with the least necessities for protection, as was clear when the Israelis threw a Palestinian worker at a checkpoint in the West Bank yesterday after he was suspected of having coronavirus disease. Later tests conducted for the worker in Ramallah turned out to be negative.