Children of Gaza Inmates Visit their Parents for First Time

GAZA, January 26, 2015 (WAFA) – About 87 Palestinians from Gaza, including 13 children, were Monday allowed to visit their relative Palestinian inmates incarcerated in an Israeli prison in southern Israel, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

ICRC’s spokeswoman, Suheir Zakut, told the Anadolu Agency that the 13 children ranging in age between 10 and 14 were allowed to see their parents for the first time, after Israel decided to allow minors below 14 – instead of 10 – to visit their parents in Israeli jails.

Between 2007 and 2012, Israel imposed strict restrictions on family visitation for families of Palestinians from Gaza who are incarcerated by the Israeli authorities.

However in May 2012, after a mass hunger strike performed by the Palestinian prisoners, including from the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the so-called Israel Prison Authority reached an agreement with prisoners, one of its terms was to allow family visitation for Gaza prisoners.

About 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently imprisoned in Israel, including 500 from the Gaza Strip.

Since Israel retains the right to release pre-Oslo Agreement prisoners, who Israel says their hands “are stained with Israelis’ blood,” the issue of the Palestinian prisoners continues to be a major block in the way to a successful peace settlement between the Palestinians and Israelis.