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Israel bans 5 year-old Palestinian boy from visiting father in prison

Oct. 30, 2016 8:05 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 31, 2016 10:57 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities have banned 5-year-old Ibrahim from visiting his father, Palestinian Muhammad Ahmad Abd al-Fatah Abu Fanunah, in prison, Abu Fanunah’s wife said to Voice of Prisoners (Sawt al-Asra) radio on Sunday.

Umm Mahmoud told the radio station that she has also been banned from visiting her husband ever since he was detained on Oct. 22, 2015, calling the Israeli policy of preventing family visits a means to pressure Palestinian prisoners.

Abu Fanunah, a 51-year-old father of nine from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, has been detained by Israel seven times over the years and spent a total of 10 years in Israeli custody, Umm Mahmoud said, adding that Abu Fanunah was currently being held in administrative detention -- internment without trial or charges.

She stated that Abu Fanunah had surgery done to his ear a few days ago after nearly losing his hearing, adding that he also suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Israeli authorities also prevented Umm Mahmoud from traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage earlier this year, she added.

One of the couple’s sons, Mahmoud, was killed by Israeli forces in March after allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier.

Abu Fanunah is one of dozens of Palestinian prisoners who carried out hunger strikes in June to protest administrative detention. carried out a hunger-strike against administrative detention in late June.

Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, some 7,000 Palestinians were imprisoned by Israel as of August, many of whom face torture, denial of family visitation, and medical negligence.
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