The Israeli Knesset has passed a law that allows the force-feeding of prisoners who have gone on hunger strike against their detention.
The Israeli parliament approved the law on Thursday, with 46 of the 120 lawmakers voting in favor and 40 against it.
Under the legislation, a judge will be allowed to sanction the force-feeding of hunger striking prisoners.
Meanwhile, the Israeli opposition party, Joint List, condemned the passage of the “hunger strike law,” saying it violated the rights of Palestinians, who have increasingly been participating in hunger strikes.
“The Knesset approved a law that legalizes torturing of Palestinian prisoners,” the opposition said in response to the law.
“The goal of the law is to defend their legitimate struggle under the guise of ‘preventing the damage caused by hunger strikes’. This is a law that permits invasive and cruel intervention in the body of another human.”
Israel’s Medical Association, which considers force-feeding as a risky form of torture, has called on Israeli doctors to avoid force-feeding.
Tel Aviv has been concerned about possible protests in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (East Jerusalem), resulting from the deaths of hunger striking Palestinians held in its detention centers.
Palestinian prisoners are seen behind bars in Israeli jails. (file photo)
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are increasingly resorting to hunger strikes to protest both their indefinite detention with no charges and being denied the right to a legal trial.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Committee, there are more than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners who are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, dozens of whom are serving multiple life sentences. About 540 Palestinians are being held without trial under the so-called administrative detention.
Administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.