Hamas blocked a bus filled with children who were supposed to visit Israel from leaving Gaza on Sunday. The week-long trip for 37 children, most of whom had lost a parent in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, was meant to foster peaceful relations.
It was supposed to include a trip to a zoo, visits to Jewish and Arab communities, and a meeting with Palestianian Prsident Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.
Hamas spokesman Eyad Bozum said the trip was blocked to “to protect the culture of our children and our people.”
Bozum vowed that Hamas would make sure a goodwill trip like this one “will never happen again.” Yoel Marshak, one of the trip organizers, said he received written approval for the trip from Hamas three weeks before it was set to start.
“These children will one day be the leaders of Gaza and they would have remembered this trip and known that we can live in peace, side by side,” said Marshak. Read more.