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Gazan families visit relatives in Israeli prison

Aug. 29, 2016 6:53 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2016 5:43 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- A group of Palestinian families from the blockaded Gaza Strip visited their relatives in Ramon Prison in southern Israel on Monday morning.

A spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza told Ma'an that the organization coordinated visits for 59 Palestinians -- including 31 children – to enter Israel through the Erez crossing in the early morning, to visit 28 first-degree relatives held in Ramon.

Of the 7,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli custody as of July, 340 were from the Gaza Strip, according to prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

Since families of Palestinian prisoners often experience rejection or long-term delays of their permit applications to visit prisons in Israel, including incidents at checkpoints preventing them from crossing even after they have been issued permits, Palestinians are heavily reliant on ICRC-arranged visitations, as ICRC buses transport Palestinians to and from the prisons and act as an institutional medium between the families and Israeli authorities.
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