The Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights denounces and considers extremely dangerous the decision of the Israeli Minister of Internal Security issued on 12/24/2020, directed to the Director General of the Israel Prisons Authority, which requires the start of providing vaccinations to workers in the administration of the Israeli Prison Authority, without including Palestinian detainees. It constitutes a threat and a serious denial of their health rights, which are guaranteed under the provisions of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as well as the laws in force within the occupying power.
According to the center’s review of the Minister of Security’s decision, it included directives to begin providing vaccinations to workers in the Israeli Prison Authority’s administration, and then the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published on 12/27/2020, clarifications issued by the minister’s office on Saturday evening, corresponding to 12/26/2020, stating no Providing the vaccine to “security prisoners” (Palestinian detainees) without the approval of the Ministry.
Another message was published by the Director General of the Ministry of Health in the Occupying Power to the Israeli Minister of Security, urging him to follow the approved standards in providing the vaccine, provided that the vaccine includes prisoners who are over the age of 60 years, and those whose health condition proves serious.
It should be noted that the center’s lawyer was informed today, Tuesday, 12/29/2020, by the administration of Rimon Prison, affiliated with the Israel Prison Authority, to prevent visiting detainees due to the outbreak of the virus inside it and isolating him for two weeks. On 11/3/2020, the Center had warned against the occupation state’s continuing policy of neglect, and not taking adequate measures after announcing the injury of about (85) detainees in Gilbo Prison.
Al-Mezan Center confirms that the Israeli decision implies a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which established a special organization to address the infectious diseases that detainees may be exposed to in detention centers, as it imposed on the detaining state in accordance with Article (91) the allocation of wards to isolate those infected with these diseases, and the obligation to provide A suitable clinic in every detainee supervised by a qualified doctor in which the detainees receive the medical care they need. Article 81 of the same convention requires the Detaining Power to provide the medical care required by their health condition.
While the aforementioned decision is tainted by the discriminatory nature, considering that the exemption from receiving vaccination is limited to Palestinian detainees and not other prisoners, which contradicts the essence of the protection provided by international human rights treaties and treaties, especially the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Which initially banned and in accordance with Article (2/2) practices based on discrimination. It also violates health rights guaranteed under international standards, in addition to its conflict with Israeli basic laws.
Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, while holding the occupying power fully responsible for the lives of the Palestinian detainees, calls on the international community to assume its legal and moral responsibilities towards the residents of the occupied Palestinian territories, and to take all measures that would ensure that the occupying power takes the necessary measures that would ensure the protection of detainees Palestinians from the dangers of the spread of Coronavirus, and providing them with the necessary health care, including providing them with the appropriate vaccine and vaccinations.