Hamas blocks Gazan orphans’ two-week vacation to Israel
source: Jerusalem Post | Middle East | 29 Jan 2009, 03:25
Dozens of children from Gaza who were due to enter Israel for a two-week vacation were prevented from leaving the Strip by Hamas officials on Wednesday, Israeli officials said.
Palestinian children play in…
Most of the children were orphans whose parents were killed during Operation Cast Lead. The Kibbutz Movement had sponsored the vacation for 47 children between the ages of four and 13.
The children were to be accompanied by five adults from the Strip as well as Arabic-speaking youth movement members from Israel, and were to be hosted in Kafr Kasem, Haifa and Kibbutz Sasa.
“Hamas prevented them from leaving today,” said Maj. Peter Lerner, the spokesman for the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
“Hamas was responsible for letting them get out… The press was waiting at the Erez crossing for them to come. The Kibbutz Movement was waiting for them to come,” Lerner said.
Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Mark Regev had not previously heard about the incident, but told The Jerusalem Post that “Hamas, through its actions, continually demonstrates that the last thing on its mind is the well-being of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.”