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Official: Red Cross says Gaza relatives still visiting Israeli jails

Nov. 2, 2012 10:46 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 5, 2012 7:46 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross is still coordinating family visits to Gazans imprisoned in Israeli jails, a Gaza official said Friday.

The Palestinian Authority prisoner affairs ministry said earlier this week that Israel had canceled the family visits, three months after they were resumed.

But DFLP official Louai Moamar said the ICRC is not aware of any cancellation, after a meeting with Khan Younis ICRC chief Enrique Lomana and the governor of the southern Gaza province.

Rather, the Red Cross organized a visit last week that passed without obstacles, and has already got Israeli approval for another next week, he said.

In July, Israel allowed the first visits to prisoners from Gaza in five years. Visits had been banned since 2007 to pressure Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was freed in Oct. 2011.

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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