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Israeli doctors refuse force feeding, as it amounts to 'torture'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/5/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

About 100 Israeli prisoners now participating in hunger strike

The Israeli medical community remains steadfast against the force-feeding of prisoners. The practice, typically taken against political prisoners undergoing hunger strikes, is torture, they argue. A draft bill making its way through the Israeli parliament would authorize the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners.

Hundreds of other prisoners have shown their solidarity in joining the protest. Thousands have held one-day strikes in solidarity with the original 100.

Hundreds of other prisoners have shown their solidarity in joining the protest. Thousands have held one-day strikes in solidarity with the original 100.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/5/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Force-feeing, Israel, Palestinians, medical community, torture


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked that the legislation, which has been under several rounds of debate, be fast tracked.

Around 100 hunger-striking Israeli prisoners have been on strike now for some six weeks. The Israel Medical Association in the meantime has urged physicians not to cooperate with the government's plans.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

"It goes against the DNA of the doctors to force treatment on a patient," spokeswoman Ziva Miral says. "Force-feeding is torture, and we can't have doctors participating in torture.

Palestinians in local jails here began the latest hunger strike on April 24. The inmates are refusing meals in protest of Israel's use of administrative detention, a practice in which Palestinians are indefinitely detained without charges or trial.

Hundreds of other prisoners have shown their solidarity in joining the protest. Thousands have held one-day strikes in solidarity with the original 100.

Officials say that force-feeding would be used if an Israeli judge felt a Palestinian prisoner's life was in danger through hunger striking.

"We want the judge to take into consideration what will happen to the country if something happens," Yoel Hadar, a legal adviser with the Public Security Ministry, which initiated the pending legislation, says. Hadar was referring to the unrest that could accompany the death of a person who refuses meals.

A number of Israeli medical groups in addition to the IMA have criticized the legislation.

The World Medical Association (WMA), Israel's umbrella organization for national medical associations, also condemns the practice. It declared in 2006 that "forcible feeding is never ethically acceptable."

Another group, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel reportedly called the WMA last month, asking that it help stop the legislation. The group maintains that "the true motivation . is to the break the spirit and protests of the hunger strikers."

Currently, some 5,000 Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel, including 191 in administrative detention.

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