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Palestinian prisoner in Israel sets fire to room for guards to protest lack of health measures

A Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli Nafha prison in the south of Israel set fire this morning to a room used by the prison guards to protest the prison administration’s neglect of the health conditions for the prisoners.

According to Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Palestinian Authority’s Prisoners Affairs Commission, the prisoner, Ayman Sharabati, who is serving a life sentence, set the room on fire when the prisoners were taking their daily walk out of their cells to protest the way the Israel Prisons Service (IPS) deals with the health situation in prisons and not taking enough precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease among the prisoners.

He said the prisoner was immediately place in solitary confinement in the prison.

Abu Bakr said the IPS removed all the doctors and nurses from the prisons and kept only one nurse in every prison, which he described as part of the Israeli policy of medical negligence of prisoners.

He warned that this policy, if it continues, could generate serious reactions from the prisoners.

Regarding the four prisoners in Magiddo prison who were quarantined after they were suspected of contracting coronavirus disease from an Israeli interrogator, Abu Bakr said an attorney from the commission has contacted the prisoners who did not show any symptoms of the virus.

Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Organization said yesterday that its lawyer, Samer Sam’an, managed to speak via a phone call to the prisoners put in quarantine at Ramleh prison clinic.

It said the prisoners informed the lawyer that they were not tested for the coronavirus disease yet. Their temperature is taken twice a day, and no other medical tests are made so far.

Abu Bakr urged the Red Cross and other rights organizations to intervene on behalf of the prisoners to make sure they get the proper health care in this time of coronavirus pandemic.

A similar call was yesterday made by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh during his meeting with the head of the Jerusalem office of the Red Cross.

There are over 5000 Palestinian prisoners serving time in Israeli jails for resisting its occupation of the Palestinian lands.

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