Irish Sinn Fein Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Declan Kearney, denounced the ongoing Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and its occupation of the West Bank as the Palestinian Authority battles the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Covid19.
“It is an international scandal that the Palestinian people must simultaneously struggle against the unjust Israeli blockade of Gaza and occupation of the West Bank while also battling against the spread of Covid19,” he told the Palestinian ambassador in Ireland, Jilan Wahba.
Kearney said that the ambassador briefed him on the situation in the Palestinian territories as a result of the spread of Covid19, expressing particular concern for the health and wellbeing of over 5,000 political prisoners being held in Israeli prisons due to an outbreak of Covid19 among prison staff and the removal of cleaning products from prison canteens.
The ambassador asked for “the international community to intensify pressure upon the Israeli government to meet its international obligations and protect the health of the prisoners which it detains,” he said.
“I am now calling on the Irish government to use its influence to address this humanitarian priority,” said the Irish MLA.
In a statement released on Tuesday, The Geneva-based Euro-Med Monitor urged the international community in an earlier statement to protect Palestinians and force Israeli forces to stop incursions of cities and towns that threaten preventive measures taken by the Palestinian Authority to control the outbreak of coronavirus.
It also called for investigating the suspicious behavior of a number of soldiers and Jewish settlers, which appeared to be an attempt to spread the infection and hold those responsible to account.
Twenty-one new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the West Bank today, the highest in a single day since the outbreak of the disease, bringing the total in Palestine to 155, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.