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Israel Supreme Court gives green light to force-feeding

Israel's Supreme Court has deemed force-feeding constitutional. That clears the way for officials to insert tubes into hunger strikers' esophagi via their noses if officials determine that their lives are in danger.

Over the weekend, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that officials can force-feed prisoners on hunger strike, news agencies reported on Monday. The court ruled that the 2015 law ensures medical and legal oversight for feeding people against their will.

According to the court, the law takes into account the "delicate balance" of life, public interest, the right to dignity and freedom of expression, the Associated Press news agency reported, citing documents obtained Monday. A hunger striker "is not an ordinary patient, but a person who knowingly willingly places himself in a dangerous situation as a protest or a means of attaining a personal or public goal," the court decided. The justices said they had examined Israeli, Hebraic and international law to arrive at the ruling.

With authorities worried that deaths in custody could lead to unrest, Israel's parliament, the Knesset, passed the law last year after several Palestinians launched hunger strikes to protest their incarcerations without charges. The Israel Medical Association and human rights groups protested, calling force-feeding a form of torture. Officials have not reported administering nutrients to prisoners against their will since the law took effect.

Last year, the activist Mohammed Allan went on a 65-day hunger strike to protest his detention without trial.

mkg/kms (EFE, AP)

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