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Israel temporarily cancels family-prisoner visits

July 30, 2018 10:51 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 6, 2018 1:13 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have announced temporary cancellation of all family visits from Gaza to Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons that were scheduled for Monday until further notice.

Abd al-Nasser Farawneh, Head of the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee in the Gaza Strip, said that Israeli authorities informed the Ministry of Detainees regarding the cancellation of all family visits of Gaza prisoners scheduled for Monday due to urgent technical reasons.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is in charge of coordinating with Israeli authorities to arrange family visitations for Palestinian prisoners and eases visitations for Gaza residents on a regular basis.

Since 1968, the ICRC has been facilitating family visits to detainees held in Israel. Family contacts are ensured through Red Cross messages, oral greetings, and the ICRC family visit program, coordinated with Israeli authorities.

Consequently, family members of Palestinian prisoners have less access to their relatives, as they need difficult-to-obtain permits from Israel and have to undertake long trips to see their loved ones, with checks and waiting times when crossing Israeli checkpoints and at the prison.

According to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, Palestinians are entitled to family visits, which can “only be limited for security reasons, on a case by case basis, but never for strictly punitive or disciplinary purposes.”

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