Does Halacha permit the force-feeding of prisoners?

BySHLOMO BRODY
June 8, 2017 14:58

Ask the rabbi.




Palestinian protester

A woman holds a Palestinian flag as she attends a protest in support of a hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner in 2015 in Ashkelon. (photo credit:AMIR COHEN - REUTERS)

 In the end of May, Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails ended a 40-day hunger strike, one of several such strikes that have occurred in past years. The strike was ostensibly about improving their conditions in jail, even as many analysts saw this as a power play of Marwan Barghouti and an attempt to embarrass the Israeli government in the international media.

The prospects of Palestinian prisoners dying from their protest bore measures of condemnation by foreign leaders and threats of revenge from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, thereby turning this strike into a potential national security threat.

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