11:57 GMT09 August 2020
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    Legislation on the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strikes in Israel violates international norms, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs claimed.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Israel’s draft bill authorizing the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strikes is contrary to international norms, Jeffrey Feltman said.

    In mid-June, the Israeli government approved a bill allowing the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners who go on hunger strikes as a protest against detention without charge.

    “The Secretary-General expressed deep concern, in addition, over the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, warning that draft legislation to permit force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike, if approved by the legislature, would be in contravention of international standards,” Feltman said at a briefing on Wednesday.

    Earlier in June, the Israel Medical Association (IMA) stated that force-feeding was a form of torture and suggested that the proposed bill means that Israeli doctors who undertake force-feeding are complicit in torture.

    The United Nations has long urged Israel to end the practice of administrative detention, in which people are held in prison without charge. According to Israeli NGO B'Tselem, Israel was holding some 446 Palestinians in administrative detention in September 2014. The maximum period of administrative detention is six months, but Palestinians are often held much longer, according to the watchdog.

    The most recent Palestinian prisoner hunger strike was held in 2012 and resulted in the release of five prisoners. In 2012, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas warned that if any of the estimated 1,500 Palestinians on hunger strike were to die of starvation in Israeli jails, it would be a "national disaster that no one can tolerate."


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    force-feeding, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, prisoners, hunger strike, Israel Medical Association (IMA), UN, Jeffrey Feltman, Mahmoud Abbas, Israel
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