Israel Approves Bill to Force-Feed Palestinian Hunger Striking Detainees

JERUSALEM, July 30, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli parliament, Knesset, on Thursday cast its approval on its second and third reading of a legislation allowing the force-feeding of hunger striking Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails.


The move, which saw 46 members of Knesset vote in favor and 40 oppose, was sharply decried by the Joint List oppositionist Arab group in the Knesset, which argued this law represents a new method of torture and seriously violates medical ethics.


“The Knesset approved a law that legalizes torturing of Palestinian prisoners,” the Joint List said in a response statement, adding that the new law permits “invasive and cruel intervention in the body of another human… The goal of the law is to defang their [the detainees’] legitimate struggle under the guise of ‘preventing the damage caused by hunger strikes’.


“Force-feeding constitutes a serious violation of human rights and the right of a person to do as they wish with their body,” said the group. “International human rights groups and health organizations took a position based on ethics, morality, and science. This law asks doctors to violate a centuries-old oath.”


Israel’s Medical Association also opposed the law, and considered force-feeding a form of torture that is medically risky. It urged Israeli doctors not to abide by the law.


In response, Issa Qaraqe, Chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, said the law legalizes murder of Palestinian hunger striking detainees.


‘It’s against the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law, it legalizes torture of prisoners who are demanding their rights in a non-violent way,” he said in a televised statement.


Qaraqe asked for a meeting of state parties to the Geneva Conventions to take a stand against the law and demand Israel not to apply it.


The first reading of the law was passed on June 9, 2014.