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Israel to enforce ban on prison visits for Hamas family members

Restrictions were announced in January 2017 by Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet

    Hadar Goldin's parents Simcha and Leah at the hearing on Thursday
    Hadar Goldin's parents Simcha and Leah at the hearing on Thursday (Photo: Flash90)

    Israel has stopped family members from visiting Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails, a government lawyer has told the High Court.

    The move is part of the government’s response to a petition submitted by the family of soldier killed in Gaza whose remains are still being held by Hamas.

    The family of Hadar Goldin, who was declared killed in action during an operation in Gaza in 2014, told a hearing on Thursday that the Israeli government should adhere strictly to a cabinet decision from January 2017 that banned families of prisoners visiting Israel, even for medical treatment.

    “The time has come to make it clear to Hamas and its people that the days of medical treatments in Israel are over and from now and until the soldiers are returned, these treatments will be provided in Qatar, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan,” Goldin’s parents said.

    The remains of another soldier killed during the Gaza war, Oron Shaul, have not been returned by Hamas either.

    Hadar Goldin’s father, Simcha, was allowed to speak at the hearing on Thursday.

    He told the court that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “led the security cabinet to pass a decision to apply pressure on Hamas, but we have seen that this decision is not being implemented.

    “If it was possible, I would demand to bring the prime minister here to provide answers to the family and all Israeli citizens as to why these decisions are not being carried out.

    “Those who take mercy on the cruel, are being cruel to the families of the captives.”

    Two Israeli civilians – Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed – who crossed the border into Gaza, are reportedly being held by Hamas.

    Their families and the Red Cross have not received any information about them.

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