Israel top court upholds force-feeding of hunger striking detainees

Israel top court upholds force-feeding of hunger striking detainees

Israel’s High Court of Justice [official website] ruled Sunday that the implementation of a law allowing the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strikes is constitutional. The court handed down the decision after ruling against petitions filed by the Israel Medical Association [advocacy website] and other groups contesting the law that had been introduced last year. The UN had also issued a statement [statement] condemning the practice at the introduction of the bill. The court reasoned [Al Jazeera report] that those who engage in a hunger strikes are not normal prisoners and that the court’s top priority is to save lives, including those lives threatened by a hunger strike.

The increase in violence in the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict [HRW backgrounder] has created a contentious human rights situation. The UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), a body of independent experts, released [JURIST report] closing remarks to its fifty-seventh session in May, expressing concern about the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinians. An Israeli court in April convicted [JURIST report] Yosef Haim for the 2014 murder of a Palestinian teenager that led to a 50-day war in Gaza. UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Makarim Wibisono [official profile] resigned [JURIST report] from his position in January, saying that Israel has not granted him access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory after repeated requests.