Palestinian prisoners reject Israeli proposal on family visits
Published Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Palestinian detainees from Gaza on Tuesday rejected an Israeli proposal to allow them just one half-hour family visit every two months.
The proposal came as a result of the Egypt-brokered deal between prisoners and Israeli authorities, which ended the month-long hunger strike of more than 2,000 Palestinian detainees.
Detainees from Gaza have demanded visits from their families be restarted after Israel banned them in 2007.
Jamal al-Rajoub, a prisoner at Ramle jail, told his lawyer that the detainees rejected the Israeli offer, the Palestinian Ministry of Detainee Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow detainees, al-Rajoub noted that detainees from the West Bank received a 45-minute family visit every two weeks and the offer was significantly less than that.
The detainees also asked for the change of Israeli administrative detention policy, which enables Israel to hold Palestinians without charge effectively indefinitely.
Critics have accused Israeli authorities of failing to keep promises made over the deal which ended the mass hunger strike earlier this month.
Mourad Jadallah, a representative of the prisoner advocacy group Addameer said that “the Palestinian side and the Egyptian side made the same mistake, which is leaving the Israeli side to determine what the language of the agreement means.”
Two Palestinian detainees remain on hunger strike, having refused to accept the deal, which Israel sought to seal after fearing the consequences that might follow the death of any detainee.
One of these two, Mahmoud al-Sarsak, a football player from Gaza detained by Israel, has not eaten for 72 days.