The International Committee of the Red Cross called on Israel on Monday to allow Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to visit relatives in Israeli jails, a practice suspended a year ago after Hamas seized the territory.Although, it is rather disappointing so see that in 2008 the Red Cross is still not willing to raise a large hue and international outcry on the behalf of Jewish prisoners being held. Really, it is almost like the 1940’s all over again. Think about it, when was the last time the International Committee for the Red Cross called on Hezbollah or Hamas to account for the Jewish prisoners being held? But by all means, take the Israelis to task.
"While we acknowledge Israel's security concerns, we strongly believe that they alone cannot justify the all-out suspension of family visits to detainees," Christoph Harnisch, head of the ICRC's delegation in Israel and the Palestinian territories, said in a statement.
Israeli officials were not immediately available to comment. Israel has sharply restricted the passage of people and goods at its border crossings with the Gaza Strip since Hamas Islamists took over the coastal enclave in fighting against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction last June.
The Israeli closure also effectively prevented Gazans from visiting family members jailed in Israel, which holds about 11,000 Palestinian prisoners, about 700 of them from the Gaza Strip. "This measure is depriving both detainees and their relatives of an essential life line," Harnisch said.
Anyway, the by-words of the day should be fair play and reciprocal.