Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas' armed wing, the Qassam Brigades.

Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers have barred a group of children from travelling to Israel for a conciliatory trip.

Eyad Bozum, a spokesman for the Islamic terror group, said the children were prevented from travelling to “protect the culture of our children and our people” from normalising relations with Israel.

He said Hamas turned the children back when they arrived at a crossing into Israel. He said Hamas would make sure such an attempt “will never happen again”.

Yoel Marshak, the trip’s Israeli organiser, said the 37 children were meant to tour Israel and the West Bank. The trip was meant to show a positive face of Israel and promote peace.