Palestinian human rights organizations decry detentions amid COVID-19 pandemic
RAMALLAH, Palestine: Israeli forces rounded up 456 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in January, according to Palestinian organizations that monitor the conditions of Palestinian prisoners.
Ninety-three minors and eight women were among those detained last month, the Palestinian Authority’s Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, the Palestinian Prisoner Society, the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and the Wadi Hilweh Information Center said in a joint statement.
According to the statement, 105 administrative detention orders were carried out by occupation authorities, including 30 new orders along with the extension of 75 previous orders.
Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to extend the detention of a prisoner without charge after the expiration of the sentence that ranges between two to six months.
The statement noted the number of detainees in Israeli prisons now stands at around 4,500, including 37 women, about 140 minors and 450 administrative detainees.
“The arrests affected all segments of society”, the statement continued, adding that the Israeli arrests take place despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and “the risks [the virus poses] to the lives of prisoners”.
Palestinian human rights organizations estimate that more than 355 Palestinian inmates have been infected with COVID-19 due to “deliberate Israeli medical negligence.”