Israel has failed to provide real-time coronavirus (COVID-19) updates in Arabic for Palestinian citizens who make up around one-fifth of its population, Adalah, a group that advocates for the rights of Arab community, has revealed.
“An examination of the Israeli health ministry’s website revealed that ongoing updates related to coronavirus (COVID-19) are being issued only in Hebrew; Arabic-language updates are issued only after significant delays,” Adalah said.
“In addition, the ministry’s social media posts and smartphone app are accessible only in Hebrew,” the rights group added.
Adalah stated that the failure to provide up-to-date information in Arabic “not only violates the right to equality but also constitutes an immediate danger to public health.”
Al Mezan, a human rights group based in Gaza, also stated that prison authorities had not taken adequate measures to protect the health of some 5,000 Palestinians held in Israel’s prisons and detention centres.
This includes the failure to provide information in Arabic and holding Palestinians in overcrowded conditions with eight Palestinians per cell, versus four Israelis per cell on average.
Israeli prisoners are allowed to receive family visits with a glass partition while Palestinians are not allowed such visits.
The Israeli Prison Service has said that it was considering imposing quarantines on prisons if an outbreak occurs.
It was planning on evacuating a prison so it could serve as a quarantine centre if any prisoners contract coronavirus (COVID-19).
Palestine Post 24