PressTV - Palestinians mark anniv. of Israel ban on prisoners visit:
Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:40PM
Ashraf Shannon, Press TV, Gaza
"The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held a big event in Gaza to mark the fourth year of Israel's ban on family visits of Palestinians in Gaza to their relatives in Israeli jails.
According to the ICRC there are almost 8,000 Palestinians in Israeli detention.
Under international humanitarian law, detainees held by Israel have the right to family visits.
The ICRC regards contacts between detainees and their families as a strictly humanitarian issue.
The decision by the Israelis is of particular consequence for children whose parents are in Israeli jails.
Families of the detainees - including mothers, wives and children - hold a weekly protest in front of the ICRC's office in Gaza.
They hold photographs of their loved ones who are being held in Israeli places of detention; hoping that such demonstrations of solidarity will persuade the authorities to lift the suspension of the visits.
The Israeli decision deprives both the detainees and their relatives of an essential lifeline, and cuts detainees off from the outside world.
In the past four years, over 700 families from Gaza have been prevented from visiting their detained relatives.
There are also some prisoners kept in solitary confinement. Palestinian sources also say some of them have been subjected to solitary confinement for more than five years.
On this day families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are demanding the immediate release of their beloved ones whose only crime they say was defending their country.
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