On Tuesday, 17 June 2008, Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of eight family members of Palestinian political prisoners from the Gaza Strip.The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Association for the Palestinian Prisoners demanded that residents of Gaza be permitted to visit their relatives being held in Israeli prisons on a regular basis. The case was filed by Adalah Attorney Abeer Baker against the Defense Minister, the Commander of the Israeli Army for the Southern District and the Interior Minister. Adalah says that since June 2006, following the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian resistance in Gaza, the Israeli security authorities began to impose even greater obstacles and constraints than in the past on family visits to prisoners from the Gaza Strip. These restrictions, Adalah reported, were in the form of a decision by the Israeli army in June 2007 to place a total ban on visits by the families of prisoners from Gaza, alongside the severe restrictions imposed on all residents of Gaza. Prohibiting family visits in practice means that Palestinian prisoners are prevented from receiving basic necessities in prison, including clothing and money, as visits are the prisoners' sole means of contact with the outside world. The transfer of money to prisoners accounts necessitates the presence of a member of the prisoners’ family in the prison. In the petition, Attorney Baker argued that the timing of the decision to ban family visits to Palestinian prisoners from Gaza leaves no room for doubt that the motive behind it is to continue the collective punishment of prisoners and their families for the capture of Gilad Shalit, as he has been refused visits, and for Hamas’s control over Gaza. As was detailed in the petition, preventing family visits has in practice led to the complete isolation of approximately 1,000 prisoners from the outside world. Attorney Baker emphasized that isolating prisoners from the outside world violates their constitutional rights, including the rights to dignity and to conduct a family life, and contradicts international norms regarding minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners. On 26 May 2008, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued a news release on this issue entitled “Gaza: ICRC Calls for Immediate Resumption of Family Visits to Detainees in Israel.” According to Christoph Harnisch, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Israel and the Palestinian territory, “This measure is depriving both detainees and their relatives of an essential life line… People continue to come to our office every day to sign up for family visits in the hope that the suspension will be lifted… The lack of direct contact with their detained relatives is becoming unbearable.”