Israel still refusing to hospitalize long-term hunger strikers

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel refuses to transfer Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla to hospital after 73 days on hunger strike, the Prisoners Society said Friday.

Diab, 27, and Halahla, 33, are being held in a prison clinic, Qaddura Fares told Ma’an, adding that Israeli authorities refused to allow the society’s lawyer to visit them on Thursday.

Israeli Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told Ma’an on Friday that the detainees were being treated at a prison clinic but would be hospitalized “if it is necessary.”

The International Committee for the Red Cross on Monday warned that Halahla, Diab and four other long-term hunger strikers were in “imminent danger of dying” and called on Israel to transfer them to hospital.

Physicians for Human Rights – Israel says prison clinics are not equipped to care for prisoners in the advanced stages of a hunger strike and has repeatedly called on Israel to hospitalize strikers.

“PHR-Israel is concerned that (Israeli Prison Service) doctors fail to report abuses of hunger strikers; that IPS doctors violate medical ethics, and that the health and lives of hunger striker are unnecessarily jeopardized when they are kept in a place that claims it can answer their medical needs, but in practice cannot and does not,” the group said Wednesday in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Health Benjamin Netanyahu.

Prison doctors are employed by the Israeli Ministry of Public Security and their loyalty to their employer sometimes conflicts with the needs of their patients, PHR-I said.

The organization has documented several alleged breaches of medical ethics by prison doctors, including forcing treatment on shackled detainees.

Source: Maan News