Report: Israel arrested 357 Palestinians in March despite coronavirus lockdown

Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp, right, behind Israel's controversial separation wall earlier this year (AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  April 17, 2020

A number of Palestinian associations concerned with Palestinian prisoners’ rights said Israel arrested 357 Palestinians including 48 children and four women in March despite the spread of the novel coronavirus and an almost complete lockdown to combat the highly contagious disease.

The associations include the Committee for Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs, the Prisoner’s Club, Addameer and others said in a report issued on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day that since the beginning of this year, Israeli occupation forces have arrested more than 1,300 Palestinians, including 210 children and 31 women, and issued 295 administrative detention orders.

The associations explained that Israel detains 5,000 Palestinians including 41 female prisoners held in the Damon prison and 180 children and minors held in the prisons of Ofer, Megiddo and Damon.

According to the report, Israel has been detaining 26 prisoners since before the signing of the Oslo Accords, including Karim Younis and Maher Younis, who have been detained since 1983.

The report explains that Israel has been detaining 51 Palestinians for over 20 years.

As many as 541 prisoners were handed life terms.

The report explained that since 1967 as many as 222 Palestinians have died in prison while hundreds of prisoners died upon their release as a result of medical negligence while in detention.