Security prisoners
Security prisonersMoshe Shai/Flash 90

Deputy Attorney General Amit Merari on Friday sent a letter to the Minister of Internal Security, Amir Ohana, calling on him to vaccinate detainees and prisoners in the Israel Prison Service.

Merari said in the letter that the directive that was issued by Ohana not to vaccinate detainees and prisoners against coronavirus, including those prisoners considered to be members of at risk populations, was given without authority. Once vaccines have been assigned, they should be vaccinated without delay, she added.

Last month, Ohana instructed the Israel Prisons Service that only women and staff would be vaccinated against the coronavirus and that security prisoners should not be vaccinated without a permit.

"Security prisoners should not be vaccinated without a permit and in accordance with the progress of vaccines in the general public," he said at the time.

On Friday, speaking to Kan 11 News, Ohana blasted Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit over the letter.

"The Attorney General cannot disqualify my decision. So he said something, who does he think he is? He is merely an adviser, you can accept his recommendation and you can also not accept it," he said.

"My directive is to first finish vaccinating the staff and then we will discuss vaccinating the inmates. I have heard that there are some officials and legalists who have a problem with this. They have until February 4 to submit their slate to be elected to the Knesset,” continued Ohana. "The decision is mine and the responsibility rests on my shoulders. The government is the one that bears the responsibility, it is the one that will report to the public and therefore it has to make the decisions. It is the Attorney General who exceeds his authority.”

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) earlier on Friday responded to the Deputy Attorney General’s letter.

"If I were in Ohana's place I would refuse to fulfill this rude, corrupt, and immoral directive and I call on him to do just that. If necessary, fire anyone who refuses to fulfill his order and thinks he works for the legalists who stole our country. A thorough treatment of the justice system is one of the most important tasks of the next government."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)