Supreme Court rules prisoners not obligated in social distancing policies

Supreme Court rejects appeal by terrorists' family members, says prisoners not required to adhere to social distancing policies.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gilboa terrorist prison
Gilboa terrorist prison
Flash 90

Israel's Supreme Court has ruled that prisoners are not required to maintain social distancing.

Over the weekend, Supreme Court justices rejected an appeal submitted by the wife of one terrorist and the mother of another terrorist. The appeal, which was submitted together with the anti-Israel Adalah organization, demanded that conditions in the Gilboa prison cells allow for social distancing.

"Not taking active steps to reduce crowding in the security prisoners departments may endanger the lives and health of the prisoners," the appeal claimed.

However, the judges ruled that "the appeal is rejected. The policies that require social distancing do not apply to this issue, since the the lawmaker exempted 'those who are in the same nuclear family or individuals who live together in the same place.'"

"From a semantic perspective, as well as from the perspective of the [law's] purpose, this exemption applies to various situations, including prisoners who live together in the same cell, even if remaining in the cell was forced on them because of the sentence they are serving.

"in addition to this, social distancing is not an end in itself but rather a means by which to manage the coronavirus plague, and on this issue we are confident that Respondent 1 (Israel Prison Services) has taken and continues to take steps and actions to manage the coronavirus outbreak."

The ruling also noted that the appeal "did not suggest any concrete action which should be taken."

"According to the statistics we were provided with regarding infection rates among prisoners in general and among security prisoners in particular, the situation in the prisons, as of the writing of these lines, is much better than the situation among the general population. From this perspective, the appeal does not show a concrete issue which needs to be solved.

"As we noted, the appeal does not reveal a real issue, whether from the legal perspective or from the factual perspective, in light of the statistics which were provided. Claimant 1 (Adalah) will pay the respondents' fees, which total 5,000 NIS ($1,466)."