Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:22AM
Children of Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails who live in Gaza are denied family visits to their imprisoned parents. Israel allowed limited family visits to prisoners in mid 2012 but has banned children from such visits.
Israel still refuses to allow Gazan children of Palestinian prisoners inside its jails to visit their parents. Children of prisoners grow up hardly knowing their fathers; they only know them by pictures and posters framed on the walls. Hamza Helles barely knew his father when he was arrested. Israel was supposed to allow all family members of prisoners to visit them as part of a deal to end a mass hunger-strike by Palestinian prisoners in May of 2012. But it only allowed wives and parents to visit them in July of 2012 and deprived their children of such visits. Israel is widely known for practicing inhumane policies against Palestinian prisoners such as imprisonment with no charge, isolation and deprivation of visits. The Palestinian NGOs Network has accused Israel of violating international laws and norms. Families of prisoners including their children hold weekly protests to demand the release of the Palestinian prisoners. According to prisoners’ advocacy groups there are nearly five thousand Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails including more than four hundred from the blockaded Gaza Strip. The right of prisoners for family visits is entrenched in international laws. Rights groups accuse Israel of flagrantly violating the rights of prisoners by depriving children of visiting their incarcerated parents.