Israel approves bill blocking visits to Hamas prisoners

An Israeli ministerial committee has approved a bill to deny visits to Hamas members in Israeli prisons, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported citing Israeli media on Monday.

The bill would block visits to Hamas prisoners by Red Cross representatives and family members, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.

The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation argued that the bill was approved in response to Hamas' refusal to allow visits to Israelis held by the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip. Israel says Hamas is holding four Israelis, including two soldiers, in the seaside enclave.

The Knesset (Israel's parliament) must approve the bill, authored by Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan, in three readings to become law. It remains unclear when the bill will be presented to the Knesset for approval.

There was no comment from Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, on the Israeli bill. According to Palestinian figures, some 6,500 Palestinians continue to languish in Israeli detention facilities, including scores of women and hundreds of minors.

Source: International Islamic News Agency