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Israel passes bill to force-feed prisoners

June 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm

The Israeli government approved a bill on Sunday that will allow the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike if their lives are in danger.

The bill will still need to be brought to the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) and pass first and second readings to go into law.

The same bill was approved by the Israeli government last year but the Knesset was dissolved before it could start deliberating.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who submitted the bill, said on Sunday that he will work to see the bill passed into law in the Knesset and that “security prisoners would like to see hunger strikes become a new sort of suicide bombing to threaten the State of Israel.”

Omar Barghouti, a freed captive who spent 24 years in prison, said: “Israel tried to impose the law on detainees 30 years ago, but the prisoners rejected it.”

He added that although the law has a humanitarian cover, it is in fact based on security. Israel fears the escalation of the prisoners’ protest could spark an uprising, he said.