Busload of Palestinian families detained for two hours over photograph of mother’s imprisoned children

icrcbusA bus full of Palestinian families was detained for two hours by Israeli occupation forces after a visit with their loved ones on Wednesday, 26 October in the Negev desert prison, on the grounds that one of the mothers of the prisoners had with her a photograph of her imprisoned children, reported Asra Media.

The families were searched by occupation forces after leaving the visiting rooms to the buses organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The photograph was actually a picture of the woman’s children in Megiddo prison from years ago; nevertheless, the woman was interrogated about the photograph and accused of having secretly smuggled the photograph during her visit with her son. This continued until ICRC personnel confirmed that the photograph was in fact an old photo from Megiddo prison, finally securing the release of the visiting families from occupation forces.

The detention of families, humiliating searches and interrogations comes within a systematic policy by Israeli occupation forces of denying and undermining family visits. This policy includes the prohibition of visits on the pretext of “security,” the confiscation of already-issued visitor permits as family members are en route to visit their loved ones, denial of family visits as a mechanism of punishing prisoners’ protests, confiscation of gifts, and humiliating searches and inspections of family members.