Israel bans family visits for Gaza prisoners for 5th week

Maan News Agency | April 16, 2013

57851_345x230[1]GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel on Monday prevented Palestinians in Gaza from visiting their relatives in Israeli jails for the fifth consecutive week, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

Israel informed the ICRC that prisoners from Gaza could not receive family visits because of Jewish holidays, ICRC spokeswoman Arwa Muhanna told Ma’an.

Israel has prevented the family visits since March 18.

Muhanna said the ICRC was in constant contact with Israeli authorities to resume the visits.

Under international law, detainees are entitled to receive family visits.

Israel banned visits to all prisoners from Gaza in 2007 to pressure Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was freed in Oct. 2011.

In July, Israel agreed to resume family visits for Gaza prisoners as part of a deal to end a mass month-long hunger strike in Israeli jails.

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