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Group: Israel detains children en-route to prison visit

Feb. 4, 2013 5:49 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 6, 2013 1:46 A.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israeli police on Sunday detained two young girls and their grandmother after denying them permission to visit the children's jailed father, the Palestinian prisoners society said.

Hala Khanfar, 7, and Jana Khanfar, 8, were detained with their grandmother while trying to visit their father Rami Khanfar in Israel's Negev prison, their uncle told the society.

The children, from Nablus in the northern West Bank, were held until 1 a.m. Monday, when they were handed to Palestinian security officials in the southern city of Hebron. They spent the night in Hebron at the home of the head of a local committee for prisoners' families.

Their grandmother remains in Israeli custody, a Ma'an reporter said.

The governor of Hebron, Kamil Hmeid, strongly denounced the arrests, calling on local and international organizations to document Israeli violations against children.

Rami Khanfar is serving a 15-year sentence in Israeli jail.
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