(photo credit: Courtesy)
The parents of the missing Israeli soldier Oron Shaul, Zehava and Herzl, and dozens of other activists blocked the entrance to the Nafha Prison in Mitzpe Ramon to two buses carrying Palestinian prisoners’ families on Monday. The inmates’ families had arrived at the prison for a scheduled visit with their incarcerated family members.
The Shaul family recently filed a petition with the High Court of Justice to revoke prisoners’ visitation rights, but the High Court rejected the petition on Monday.
The Palestinian families were eventually able to pass the demonstrators, and visit their family members.
Herzl Oron told Ynet that he and his fellow demonstrators came to the Nafha Prison to prevent the visit. “Today we came to the Nafha Prison to block the families from visiting their children, who are terrorists from Gaza. This is a part of the measures we are taking, and plan to continue to take,” he remarked.
Regarding the High Court’s dismissal of his family’s petition, he said the decision will not deter him from continuing to work for his son and other captive Israelis’ freedom. “[The dismissal] disappointed us, but we will continue to act in our way until our sons come home.”
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post
, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqaa blamed the Israeli government for its complicity in the blocking of the entrance to the prison. “The Israeli government bears responsibility for allowing demonstrators to prevent prisoners’ families from visiting their family members, especially considering the Israeli government coordinated [the demonstration] with the demonstrators,” he said.
In recent weeks, the Oron family has launched a campaign to put public pressure on the government to take steps to gain the release of the captives. After the demonstration today, the Oron family spoke at Knesset faction meetings, and now are protesting in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s house