Quid pro quo: No ‘humanitarian accommodations’ in allowing Hamas leader’s 3 sisters into Gaza for nephew’s wedding, as long has Hamas continues to detain 2 Israelis in Gaza.
By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
Israel has informed Hamas’ deputy political bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh, that it will not permit his three sisters to visit the Gaza Strip to attend his son’s wedding.
IDF Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who heads the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), said it was his decision to refuse Haniyeh’s request.
The COGAT chief referenced Avera Mengistu, the Israeli national who went missing in the Gaza Strip earlier this year. Another Israeli citizen, a Beduin man, is also believed to be in the Hamas-ruled territory.
Mordechai said that COGAT also refused a request by another Hamas official, Ayhab Jasein, the head of the Islamist movement’s propaganda office, to cross over Israeli territory in order to receive medical treatment in Jordan.
Two years ago, Israeli prosecutors filed an indictment with the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court against two of Haniyeh’s sisters for illegally crossing into Gaza to visit him.
The two – Tzav’ah Bat Abud Elsalem Haniyeh and Leila Bat Abud Elsalem Abu Rakik – had previously requested permission to cross into Gaza for the visit and Israel had denied their request.
The sisters became Israeli citizens after marrying Israelis.
According to the prosecution, the two women entered Gaza via Egypt to circumvent the ban on their traveling to the Strip.
That same year, Haniyeh’s granddaughter, Amal, was admitted to an Israeli hospital for treatment after being diagnosed with an acute infection of the digestive tract. She was treated in Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel in Petah Tikva, and was later returned to a hospital in Gaza City.
She is the daughter of Haniyeh’s eldest son, Abdel Salam, who confirmed on his Facebook account that the one-year-old girl had been transferred to Israel.
“Dear brothers, Amal has been transferred inside the Green Line,” the father wrote. “I pray to Allah for her recovery.”
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