Palestinian released prisoner from Israeli jail tests positive for COVID-19

The Palestinian prisoner Noureddin Sarsour from Betunia town, west of Ramallah city, who had been detained in division 14 at Ofer Israeli prison since March 18 2020, received test results on Tuesday, showing he is positive for the Coronavirus.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners held Israeli Prisons Authority (IPA) responsible for the newly-discovered Coronavirus case, calling for the protection of all 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in more than 20 Israeli prisons.

According to the statement, a team of attorneys, belonging to the committee, informed the Israeli authorities in the Ofer prison about the results of the test, and inquired about Sarsour’s recent contact with other prisoners, fearing the spread of the infectious novel coronavirus.

“The name of Sarsour has been revealed, only after Sarsour himself had permitted the lawyers to do so,” the statement added. “Sarsour has asked the committee’s lawyers to inform his fellow prisoners about his newly-discovered case of Coronavirus.”

On Tuesday, Palestine Prisoners Centre for Studies called on releasing the long-serving prisoners amid the exceptional conditions due to the coronavirus epidemic, especially that an agreement between the occupation state and the PLO was made 7 years ago to release all the long-serving prisoners. The Israelis released three groups of the prisoners but violated the agreement and stopped releasing the prisoners after that.

The centre called on releasing the long-serving prisoners who are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus; they are old and they spent many years in jail, which negatively affected their health. Also, most of them suffer from chronic diseases.

Last week, the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners, inside Israeli jails, demanded all relevant international bodies to pressure the Israeli government to apply precautionary measures to protect the 5,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails, including those with chronic diseases, women and minors.



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