Israel passes bill to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike 


June 15, Baghdad: The Israeli government has approved a bill that will allow the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike if their lives are in danger.

The cabinet’s endorsement of the controversial bill was led by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who said on Sunday that prisoners observing a hunger strike, namely Palestinians, pose a “threat” to Israel.

“Alongside attempts to boycott and delegitimise Israel, hunger strikes of terrorists in prisons have become a means to threaten Israel,” Erdan said on his Facebook page.

The bill will go to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, for first and second readings before it becomes law.

The same bill was approved by the Israeli government last year but the Knesset was dissolved before it could start deliberating.

The bill was initially approved in June 2014 at the height of a mass hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners during which 80 were hospitalised.

Chairman of the Israeli Medical Association, Leonid Eidelman, criticised the bill, saying force-feeding prisoners against their will is “unethical”.

The Physicians for Human Rights, an NGO, described the bill as a “disgraceful” move, saying it will “legalise torture and gross violations of medical ethics and international conventions”.

“Instead of force-feeding prisoners who are humiliated and whose lives are in danger, Israel should deal with the demands of the hunger strikers – through the ending of administrative detentions,” the NGO added.

The Oslo Times and Agencies

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