By Mohamed Majid
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday called on Israel to reduce the number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"Coronavirus is a major challenge for the [Israeli] detention authorities, but its obligations towards detainees remain in spite of the difficulties due to the current crisis," the committee said.
"We have advised the detention authorities in Israel and the occupied territories to consider reducing the number of detainees," it said.
Red Cross said it understands the concerns of the families of the detainees, adding that it continues visiting prisons to ensure care for Palestinian detainees.
On Sunday, the Palestinian Authority urged the ICRC to intervene to protect Palestinians in Israeli prisons from the novel coronavirus.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China in December, the virus has spread to at least 179 countries and regions, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
The global death toll from the virus has surpassed 40,000, the data shows.
*Bassel Ibrahim contributed to this report from Ankara.