Skip to main content

Saving Palestinian prisoners’ lives requires releasing the elderly and sick

As Palestinians commemorate Prisoners' Day on April 17, the biggest demand appears to be how to safeguard prisoners from the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
GAZA CITY, GAZA - MARCH 19: Palestinians gather for a demonstration to demand coronavirus (COVID-19) protection for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, in Gaza City, Gaza on March 19, 2020. (Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Hind Shraydeh is very worried about her husband. Ubai Aboudi, an American-Palestinian researcher and director of the Ramallah-based nongovernmental organization Bisan Center for Research and Development, was arrested by Israeli forces at his house in Jerusalem’s Kufr Aqab neighborhood on Nov. 13, 2019. Aboudi was initially held in administrative detention at the Ofer detention center, and Amnesty International and Nobel Prize scientists around the world circulated a petition calling for his release.

Shraydeh told Al-Monitor her husband had breathing problems before his imprisonment and expressed worry about the potential spread of the coronavirus in the overcrowded Israeli detention centers. “Ubai is held in unit 22 at the Ofer detention center near Beitunia, where eight people are kept in a small room within an unhealthy prison environment and where at least one coronavirus case has been [confirmed].”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.