Families to visit Gaza prisoners in Israel

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Associated Press

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 3:02 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 16 at 3:03 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Relatives of Gaza prisoners held in Israel are headed for their first visit with them in more than six years.

Israel agreed to the visits in May as part of a deal to end a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.

Abdullah Qandil, a leader of a prisoners affairs group, says relatives of 26 Palestinian prisoners have gathered at the passenger crossing between Israel and Gaza on Monday with a Red Cross escort.

He says they'll go from there to the prison where their relatives are being held.

Israel is holding 450 prisoners from Gaza in all.

It stopped the family visits after Hamas militants captured an Israeli soldier in 2006. The soldier came home in a prisoner swap last October, and the hunger strikers had demanded the visits resume.

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