(February 18, 2018 / Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS) Israel has suspended visitation rights for Hamas terrorists imprisoned in Israel, and is no longer allowing them to receive visits from relatives who live in the West Bank. The move comes in an effort to pressure the terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip to return the remains of two Israeli soldiers, as well as two Israeli civilians purported to being held captive in Gaza.
Hamas is believed to be holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, both killed in the 2014 military campaign in Gaza. It is also believed to be holding Ethiopian Israeli Avera Mengistu and Bedouin Hisham al-Sayed, both suffering from mental illness, who each crossed into Gaza on their own, in 2014 and 2015. A fifth Israeli, Jumaa Abu Ghanima, crossed the border into Gaza in 2016; his fate remains unknown.
The government announced the measure in response to a High Court of Justice petition filed by the Goldin’s parents.
Until now, the state had only barred security prisoners from receiving visits from relatives who live in the Gaza Strip.
Goldin’s parents, Leah and Simcha, issued a statement saying, “The time has come to make it clear to Hamas and its members that the days of medical treatments in Israel are over and from now on and until the soldiers are returned, these medical treatments will be provided in Qatar, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.”