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You are here News Human Rights Israel doctors won't force-feed Palestinians

Israel doctors won't force-feed Palestinians

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Palestinian prisoners in IsraelProposed legislation to permit the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike is pitting Israel's government against the country's main doctors' association, which says the practice amounts to torture.

The ethical and legal debate has taken on an urgent tone, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly asking to fast-track the bill as a hunger strike by dozens of Palestinian detainees entered its sixth week.

At least 65 of 290 participating detainees have been hospitalized since the first group began a hunger strike April 24. Many are administrative detainees, held for months or years without charges.

There have been near-daily Palestinian demonstrations backing the prisoners, including one in the West Bank on Wednesday in which dozens of university students threw stones at Israeli soldiers who responded with tear gas.

Families of hunger strikers say they support the fast despite the risks.

"My husband is in Israeli jails without knowing why and when this nightmare is going to end," Lamees Faraj said of her husband Abdel Razeq, who is a member of a small, hard-line Palestine Liberation Organization faction and has been in administrative detention for almost eight of the last 20 years.

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