Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Abul Gheit
CAIRO - 13 April 2020: Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul Gheit sent letters on Monday to world leaders on the dangerous situation in the Palestinian lands in light of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and Israeli occupation and its control of Al Quds, according to a statement released by the AL.
The letters were sent to the UN Secretary-General, the foreign ministers of the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China, and Germany, in addition to the High Representative of the European Union for foreign policy and security.
Abul Gheit warned against the dangerous policies adopted by Israeli leaders, especially the Likud Party, to take advantage of the current global situation related to the outbreak of coronavirus to expand settlements in the Palestinian territories.
He also appealed to international leaders and officials to use utmost efforts to hold Israel accountable for its policies to prevent the health, social and economic repercussions in the Palestinian lands and refugee camps because of the coronavirus epidemic spread, the statement added.
On April 6, Abul Gheit also sent a letter to Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross Robert Mardini on danger facing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails because of the spread of the novel coronavirus in Israel.
The AL's General Secretariat said that the conditions of nearly 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are "serious" in light of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Israel.
A large number of the Palestinian prisoners, including elderly, sick and those with low immunity, are the most vulnerable people to the COVID-19, he underlined.
In his letter, Abul Gheit expressed regret that Israel had taken a decision to release some criminal prisoners from its citizens, while excluding Palestinian prisoners. This violates international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory, Abul Gheit made it clear.
As per the convention, an occupying power is prohibited from imposing "collective punishment" on an occupied population and is responsible for their health care.