RAMALLAH, Palestine

A Palestinian detainee in Israel has contracted coronavirus, according to the Commission of Palestinian Affairs on Sunday. 

In a statement, the commission said Kamal Abu Wa’er, 46, was diagnosed with the virus, blaming the Israeli policy of “medical negligence” for his illness.

The Israeli “policy of deliberate and systematic medical negligence has made [Palestinian] detainees vulnerable to the coronavirus and other epidemics and diseases which threaten their lives,” the commission said.

According to the statement, Abu Wa’er, from the town of Qabatiya in the northern West Bank, suffers from a throat cancer and is now treated at the Israeli Assaf Harofeh hospital.

Abu Wa’er was detained in 2003 and is serving a lifetime in prison.

On Saturday, Israeli prison authorities said a detainee tested positive for COVID-19, without giving further details about his identity.

Palestinian authorities estimate that over 5,500 Palestinians are currently languishing in prisons located throughout Israel.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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