Netanyahu pushes for law to allow force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners
JERUSALEM — With almost 300 Palestinian prisoners on extended hunger strikes and dozens hospitalized, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pressing for speedy passage of legislation that would authorize force-feeding if an inmate's health is in grave danger.
The bill is opposed by the Israeli Medical Association, which calls it a violation of medical ethics, and by a government-appointed panel that said in a statement that the legislation's provisions “contradict the principles of bioethics and should be rejected outright.”
In a consultation last week with ministers and prison officials, Netanyahu cited force-feeding at the U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay detention camp to bolster his case. He asserted that despite opposition from the Israeli medical establishment, doctors willing to carry out the policy would be found, Israeli news outlets reported.
The bill passed its first hurdle on Monday in the Israeli Parliament, which voted to send it to a committee. It must be approved twice more before becoming law.
Military officials at the Guantanamo detention center have used force-feedings for years to stymie hunger strikes among the prisoners there, but the practice received renewed attention last year when as many as 106 of the then-166 prisoners refused to eat to protest their continued incarceration without charges.
By July, the prison camp reported that 46 of those strikers were being force-fed, a process that requires running tubes through the prisoners' noses into their stomachs. Liquid nourishment is then pumped through the tubes.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus wins Nobel literature prize
- Iran’s supreme leader bans talks with U.S.
- Concern is clear among visitors to China’s glass-bottom bridge
- Russian airstrikes intensify in Syria
- Spreading Israeli-Palestinian clashes spurred by violence in Jerusalem raise fears of new uprising
- Israel ready to resume peace talks with Palestinians, Netanyahu says
- Cameron in throes of leave-the-EU movement in Britain
- France tells Russia to target Islamic State militants, not rebels in Syria
- Palestinians barred from Old City amid Jewish festival
- Syria’s Assad praises Russian airstrikes
- Dead families huddled, died in Guatemala mudslide