Joint List says Israel's force-feeding law 'authorizes torture of Palestinian prisoners'

The move has met vehement opposition from the country's medical association.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 30, 2015 09:20
1 minute read.
Joint List MK Ayman Odeh

Joint List MK Ayman Odeh. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

 
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The opposition party Joint List on Thursday condemned the passage of the so-called "hunger strike law" allowing the authorities to force-feed security prisoners who refuse to eat as an act of political protest.

"The Knesset approved a law that legalizes torturing of Palestinian prisoners," the Joint List said in response to the legislation. "The goal of the law is to defang their legitimate struggle under the guise of 'preventing the damage caused by hunger strikes'. This is a law that permits invasive and cruel intervention in the body of another human."

The party lamented the fact that the government was ignoring the position of the Israel Medical Association, which has explicitly stated that a hunger-striking patient's physical resistance to force-feeding carries with it risks to his or her health.

"The force-feeding constitutes a serious violation of human rights and the right of a person to do as they wish with their body," the Joint List said. "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 parliament on Thursday passed into law the ability to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike, a move that has met vehement opposition from the country's medical association.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightist coalition weathered a lengthy parliamentary debate and the law passed with 46 lawmakers in favor and 40 opposed in the 120-seat Knesset.

Israel has long been concerned that hunger strikes by Palestinians in its jails could end in death and trigger waves of protests in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

But Israel's Medical Association, which considers force- feeding a form of torture and medically risky, has urged Israeli doctors not to abide by the law.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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