DHAKA: Palestinian families from Gaza have been allowed to visit their jailed relatives in Israel for the first time in five years.
A group of 40 people crossed from Gaza into southern Israel en route to Ramon prison.
Israel agreed to the move in May as part of deal to end a mass hunger strike by Palestinian detainees.
Family visits were halted in 2007 after the militant Islamist group Hamas came to power in Gaza.
In all, 24 prisoners from Gaza are meeting their relatives on Monday, reports BBC.
Israel Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman was quoted as saying that the visits would last two hours.
Among those visiting Israel is Fatima Nashbat, who has not seen her husband Mohammed Jaber for six years.
‘I don’t know what the meeting will be like, but of course my excitement is indescribable and I can`t wait to see him,’ she told media.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who is which is co-ordinating the visits, welcomed the move.
‘This is a first step and we hope that visits by residents of Gaza will resume in full,’ Juan Pedro Schaerer, head of the ICRC in Israel and the Palestinian territories, said in a statement.
BDST: 1600 HRS, JUL 16, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
All rights reserved. Sale, redistribution or reproduction of information/photos/illustrations/video/audio contents on this website in any form without prior permission from banglanews24.com are strictly prohibited and liable to legal action.