The Prison Service renewed family visitations for Palestinian security
prisoners on Monday, allowing 40 relatives from Gaza to meet with 25 convicted
terrorists at the Ramon prison in southern Israel.
“This is a pilot
attempt to renew the visitations,” Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan Weitzman
told The Jerusalem Post. “The visit is now over. It went smoothly.”
more experimental visits are expected in the coming weeks, Weitzman said, adding
that “if things continue to go well, we’ll continue the visits.”
visit came as part of a deal between Israel and the security prisoners, which
ended a month-long hunger strike by some 1,600 prisoners in May.
banned family visits to prisoners from Gaza in 2007, a few months after Gazan
terrorists kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, holding him captive until
they exchanged him for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in an Egyptian-mediated
deal in 2011.
Abdallah Qandil, spokesman of a prisoner association in
Gaza, accused Israel of violating the May agreement, saying the first visits had
not been arranged soon enough, had not included enough families and were still
subject to serious restrictions.
Reuters contributed to this report.