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PLO: Israeli doctors cracking down on hunger strikers

Israeli security forces break up Palestinian protests organised to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, in Ramallah, West Bank on April 23, 2017 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]
Israeli security forces break up Palestinian protests organised to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, in Ramallah, West Bank on April 23, 2017 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]

The PLO has accused Israeli doctors of taking part in cracking down on the Palestinian hunger strikers being held inside Israeli jails, Quds Press reported yesterday.

“Israeli authorities turned the prisoners’ clinics into fields for cracking down on the hunger strikers, torturing them and putting pressure on them,” former prisoner Abdel-Nasser Farwaneh, head of studies and documentation on a PLO prisoners committee, said in a statement.

He claimed that Israeli doctors in these clinics “makes ending the hunger strike a condition to offer medical aid for hunger strikers.”

In his statement, he stressed that such “blackmailing” is being practiced by soldiers, doctors and even orderlies working in these clinics.

Farwaneh, who built his findings on personal accounts of hunger strikers, called for the World Health Organization (WHO) to bear its responsibilities regarding stopping the “crimes” being practiced against the Palestinian hunger strikers and to “urgently” intervene to save their lives.

He said that such acts amount to a “flagrant violation” of all international conventions and humanitarian laws. He called for Israeli doctors, who are taking part in these violations, to be prosecuted in court for violating the ethics of the medical profession.

Around 1,600 Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails have been on hunger strike for 25 days, calling for improving their detention conditions.

Rights groups say that more than 6,500 Palestinians are inside 22 Israeli prisons, including 29 who have been behind bars since before the Oslo Accords were signed. The prisoners include 12 lawmakers, 59 women and more than 400 patients.

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