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
- 900 may have been killed in migrant boat disaster in Mediterranean
- Nazi guard’s trial ‘a gift’ for survivors
- Ethiopians shocked by Islamic State killings
- Bomb in van kills UNICEF employees in Somalia
- EU foreign ministers to meet after latest migrant tragedy
- Slain editor’s book condemns ‘Islamophobia’
- Dissidents on ballot in Cuban elections
- Australian teenagers arrested in plot to attack veterans event
- France re-creates prehistoric art of cave paintings
- In face of Khamenei demands, Kerry stands by remarks on Iran deal
- Pentagon: Islamic State loses ground in Iraq, gains in Syria