The International Committee of the Red Cross is calling on Israel to allow Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to resume visits with relatives held in Israeli jails.

In a statement Monday, the Red Cross says Israel suspended the visits last year after Hamas militants took control of the Gaza Strip. The Red Cross had been organizing the visits since 1967.

The organization says that because the visits have been stopped, the families of more than 900 detainees have been deprived of direct contact with their detained relatives for nearly a year.

Red Cross officials say the detainees depend on the visits not only for psychological support but for material assistance such as clothing and blankets.

The Red Cross says that while it understands Israel's security concerns, it strongly believes those concerns alone cannot justify a complete suspension of family visits to detainees.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.