Israeli attorney general okays force-feeding Palestinian prisoners

Jerusalem, Jan 29: Israeli attorney general has given his go ahead to force-feeding Palestinian prisoners who are staging a hunger strike.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein Tuesday shown green light to a bill intended to legalise force-feeding Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, Xinhua quoted Israeli Justice Ministry as saying.

The bill is expected to referred to the government for approval in the next few weeks, a spokesperson of the ministry said.

The proposed bill was drafted by the Justice Ministry, Public Security Ministry, and the Israeli Security Agency, to subdue a wave of high-profile hunger strikes of Palestinian prisoners over the past year.

Under the new legislation, the Israel Prison Service would be allowed to force-feed a prisoner if the continuation of his hunger strike is expected to pose “an acute and immediate risk to his health”.

However, the Service would have to obtain the court’s approval for each case.

Israeli medical organisations strongly oppose the bill.

In July, when the Justice Ministry first began to prepare the bill, Chairman of Israel Medical Association, Leon Eidelman, said that such a bill “violates the rules of international ethics”.

In 2013, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails went on several hunger strikes for long periods of time. In the most prominent case, Israel was forced to release Samer Issawi after his eight- month hunger strike which put him in a life-threatening condition.

IANS