Two Palestinian prisoners in Ofer Israeli jail test positive for Covid 19

Two Palestinian prisoners in Israeli Ofer prison were tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

PPS said Hassan Mohammed Shahadeh from Bethlehem and Saleem Mohammed Idrees from Hebron, were infected with the virus and transferred by the Israeli Prison Services (IPS) to section 18, which has been designated for quarantine.

Read More: 12 Palestinian prisoners at Ofer jail test positive for coronavirus

Seventeen cases have been recorded among Palestinian prisoners since the outbreak of the epidemic, including two released prisoners whose infection was discovered a day after their release from Israeli jails.

Israeli occupation authorities arrested (429) Palestinians from the occupied territories in July, including (32) minors and (10) women.

Read More: Palestinian prisoners under attack: Raids in Ofer Prison

Detainees’ institutions and human rights organizations (the Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees’ Affairs, the Palestinian Society Prisoner’s Club, Al Dameer Association for Human Rights and Wadi Hilweh Information Center) pointed out that the occupation authorities arrested (201) citizens from Jerusalem, (46) from Ramallah, (35) from Hebron, (34) from Jenin, (22) from Bethlehem, (20) from Nablus, (15) from Tulkarem, (17) from Qalqilia, (215 from Tubas, (3) from Salfit, (8) from Jericho and (13) from Gaza Strip.

(4500) detainees are currently imprisoned in Israeli jails including (41) women, (160) minors and (360) administrative detainees, while (98) new administrative detention orders have been issued.

The report includes the most prominent policies of the occupation authorities practiced against detainees, such as misusing the corona virus pandemic as a means of punishment

Detainees confronting jailors and epidemic

The administration of prisons continues to announce new corona cases among jailors and Special Forces, and they are the main source to infect detainees. They announced that the two captives Kamal Abu Waaer and Abdullah Sharakah had been infected with Corona virus.

The infection of the captive Abu Waaer was known after moving him from Jelboa prison to one of the Israeli hospitals, since he has cancer. He had a surgery and then got moved to Al-Ramlah prison clinic despite his difficult health condition.

Indeed, the administration of prisons has turned the pandemic into a punitive measure against detainees, where they isolated more detainees, which caused many problems such as preventing them from getting new clothes, and family visits deprivation.

In spite of the continuous calls made by human rights organizations, for having a neutral medical committee to follow up detainees’ health conditions and the results of their samples, the prison administration ignored all calls and demands and went on in its systematic violations by psychological and physical torture.

Detainees’ institutions confirmed that before the spread out of corona virus pandemic, detention conditions were very difficult and inhumane, which increased after the pandemic.

Detention Centers: “Quarantine” and unjust policies

 The Israeli occupation forces are using unfair policies to harass detainees, especially with the situation imposed by the “Corona” virus. The pandemic is being used to undermine the work of lawyers and prevent them from visiting detainees, and also preventing family visits. Many detention centers were turned into a quarantine for newly arrested persons for (14) days, without interrogating them or providing tools for sterilization.

Quarantine centers are distributed to three detention centers: Huwara center, Ghosh Itzion center and Sharon center. Detainees suffer from difficult conditions in quarantine centers which lacks minimum preventive methods.

Detainees at Huwara center confirmed that they suffer from harsh situations, where every room includes 6 detainees with a small bathroom. Rooms were not sterilized or cleaned, and the detainees were not provided with face masks. Detainees in quarantine suffer from the lack of food and water, which made them to collect the jailers’ waste, water bottles and soda cans (Coca-Cola) to use them.

The situation in Itzion does not differ, while detainees suffer from the barbarity of occupation forces in spite of the epidemic. Detainees are prevented from contacting their families throughout the “quarantine” period. In addition, they are provided with bad and expired food, and there are no sanitizer tools. Sick detainees suffer from medical negligence in quarantine and they were not provided with their medication, which affected their health conditions.  

In Hasharon prison, women detainees who were quarantined in isolated cells, where provided with dirty covers and clothes. In addition, there is no privacy for women detainees, since the bathrooms have no doors and the rooms have surveillance cameras.

The detainees Fadwa Hamada and Jehan Hashemeh in isolation: inhumane harsh condition

 The administration of prisons continue its punitive measures against detainees in Israeli jails, where at the same time the world is committed with safety and preventive measures, the two detainees are isolated at Al jalamah isolation in a room that lacks the minimum basic elements of human life for more than two months.

They got moved to Al jalamah isolation after the administration of Damoun prison claimed that they had a confrontation with a jailor. Despite of informing them of ending their punishment, they were not returned to their rooms at Damoun prison until this moment.

They suffer from many problems since their transfer, where the live in a narrow dirty cell, with surveillance cameras, two beds with dirty covers. They are also deprived of getting new clothes and prevented from taking a shower. In addition, they suffer from medical negligence, as they did not receive their medication until 21 days after isolation.

In light of the Corona pandemic and the unfair conditions of isolation against them, the cell is not sterile and dirty and they have not made any medical checkups, noting that the detainee Fadwa Hamada suffers from hypertension and needs medications.

Jerusalem: continues arrest campaigns

Occupation authorities continued in arrest campaigns in Jerusalem, where (201) arrest cases have been recorded in the city, including (6) females and (22) minors under the age of 12. The highest rate of detention was at Al Essawieh town, which is subjected to systematic arrest campaigns, where (50) arrest cases were recorded in last July, and (32) cases at Silwan town.

Re-arresting detainees at the same moment of releasing them turned to policy against detainees from Jerusalem, where the Intelligence device tend to arrest them from the gates of prisons and take them to the police station.

Cases in point:

  • The detainees Sultan Abu Hummos, who was arrested immediately after being released in front of Negev prison, after serving 7 years in prison. After few hours he got released again under the condition of deportation from Jerusalem for five days.
  • The detainee Muhammad Moussa, who was arrested immediately after being released in front of Negev prison, after serving 4 years in prison. He was arrested for 24 hours and then released under the condition of deportation from Jerusalem.
  • The occupation forces arrested the freed prisoner, Muhammad Ali Al-Ghoul (16 years), after serving his 12-month sentence upon his arrival at his home in Ras Al-Amud in the town of Silwan. They also arrested his father and three boys from the neighborhood, and released under the condition of house arrest for five days.
  • The occupation authorities deported the freed detainee Sami Obaid for four months.

Detainees’ institutions reaffirm on their repeated demands to practice pressure against the Israeli authorities to release sick detainees, women and children and allow an international neutral committee to look at detainees’ conditions and the results of their samples. In addition, they demand the International Committee of the Red Cross to increase their efforts in order to be able to fulfil its commitments toward detainees and their families, and to provide them with all necessities needed in light of the ongoing pandemic. 

(Source / 06.09.2020)

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