The League of Arab States, consisting of 22 Arab countries, addressed international human rights organizations and other relevant bodies, on Monday, what they describe as an imperative release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners, from Israeli jails.
A press release, issued by the Deputy-Secretary General of the Arab States’ League for the Israel-occupied Arab and Palestinian Territories’ Affairs, Said Abu Ali, was in response to a worldwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The statement read that all relevant international conventions and the international law consider providing protection for prisoners as imperative, especially in times of pandemics, such as the current global situation.
Mr. Abu Ali called on key international countries to pressure Israeli authorities for the release of 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, including hundreds of elderly with poor immunity, 180 juveniles and 43 women, to prevent the prison population from contracting and spreading the contagious disease.
Abu Ali also called for ensuring protection and proper safety measures for the thousands of Palestinian prisoners, inside Israeli jails.
The Arab-Palestinian official’s appeal comes in the backdrop of media reports that Coronavirus cases inside Israel has so far reached several hundreds, with some Israeli health officials warning that the number could increase to thousands, unless more necessary measures are taken.
Earlier on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly imposed a total lockdown all across Israel, citing growing concerns that the virus could widely spread in the upcoming weeks.
Palestinian media reports confirmed that four Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Megedo prison, one of the largest Israeli detention facilities for Palestinians, have tested positive for COVID-19. The Palestinian Government has also increased precautions in the occupied West Bank.