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PLO accuses Israel of deliberately infecting prisoners with the Coronavirus

Image and text posted on the Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs

Posted text: “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs said today, Thursday [June 18, 2020], that at a time when the world is preoccupied with the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, the Israeli Prison Service is continuing to exploit the situation in order to abuse the prisoners…

The prisoners in Gilboa Prison emphasized… that the routine conditions in which the prisoners are living are most difficult, and most of them even constitute crimes from the perspective of international humanitarian law. They added that the prisoners are suffering from a policy of deliberate medical neglect, torture, abuse, isolation, and inhumane treatment…

They said: ‘In the shadow of the spread of the Coronavirus epidemic in the world, the [Israeli] Prison Service has deliberately neglected the general cleanliness, and there is no proper ventilation in most of its detention camps. In addition, there is a sharp increase in dampness and a deliberate shortage of cleaning supplies, shampoo, soap, and pesticides in the canteen. This is proof for everyone that the [Israeli] Prison Service is exploiting the general situation, and even the health situation, as a means to punish the prisoners in the prisons and the detention and interrogation centers.’”

The image shows a drawing of a prisoner sitting slumped over on a bed in a prison cell while a hand holding a Coronavirus particle reaches through the bars of the cell door; a number of other Coronavirus particles are seen floating in the air.

Text on image: “The international campaign to protect the prisoners in the occupation’s prison from the Coronavirus epidemic


[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, June 18, 2020]

Libel on medical abuse of Palestinian prisoners - the PA claims that Israel abuses Palestinian prisoners, through medical neglect, medical experiments, and by intentionally infecting them with diseases. However, the International Red Cross regularly visits these prisoners and has not documented or accused Israel of any of these claims. Likewise, lists of demands occasionally issued by the prisoners during hunger strikes - such as during one in 2011 - include no demands relating to these claims. PMW has documented prisoners talking about how they "lack nothing" in the prisons, and that "the worst thing about Israeli prison" is riding in a prison vehicle that has no padding on the seat. When PMW contacted the Israeli Ministry of Health in 2007 regarding PA claims of medical experiments on prisoners, the ministry responded: "Clinical testing on prisoners in prison was never approved, never performed, and is most certainly not taking place at present."