UN chief calls for protection of Palestinian prisoners amid coronavirus pandemic

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has demanded the protection of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails and detention facilities amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The UN chief has also asked his Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, to remain in contact with Israeli officials to ensure that due attention is paid.

In a letter addressed to the Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Saeb Erekat on Friday, Guterres pointed to the reduction of prison overcrowding and restrictions on family visits in order to improve public health conditions.

He also stressed the need for coronavirus tests to identify the infected prisoners to quarantine.

The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has already warned about the dire consequences of keeping Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, denouncing the Tel Aviv regime’s utter disregard for local and international calls to release them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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