Five human rights organizations in Israel submitted today a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court against the decision of the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, Amir Ohana, not to vaccinate Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails against COVID-19.
The petition was submitted by the Association for Civil Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Adalah, the Center for the Defense of the Individual, and Rabbis for Human Rights.
In their petition, the five organizations demanded that the Israeli High Court orders the Israel Prison Service to vaccinate all prisoners against COVID-19, especially those over the age of 60. The petition also demanded that the Israel Prison Service prohibit the preference for vaccinating Israeli civil prisoners over Palestinian political prisoners.
Last month, Adalah General Director Attorney Dr. Hassan Jabareen sent a letter to Israeli Public Security Minister Amir Ohana and Israel Prison Service (IPS) Chargé d’Affairs Asher Vaknin demanding that they move to revoke Ohana’s decision to prevent Palestinian prisoners from being vaccinated.
Jabareen also called on Israel to refrain from infringing upon the health and human rights of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli facilities, as authorities have been doing on a consistent basis since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
Adalah stressed that the Israeli Public Security Ministry’s directive to exclude Palestinian “security prisoners” from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine constitutes a violation of the prisoners’ health and medical rights and, similarly, violates Israeli Health Ministry instructions as well as professional medical ethics which guarantee equal treatment for all.