Video Duration 25 minutes 00 seconds
From: Inside Story

Is force-feeding a form of torture?

Israel has passed a law allowing prisoners who go on hunger strike to be force-fed, angering the UN and other groups.

Hunger strikes have become an important form of protest for Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.

But the Israeli parliament has just passed a new law which would allow authorities to force-feed prisoners on hunger strikes.

The United Nations, the Palestinian Prisoners Commisison and the Israeli Medical Association have all condemned force-feeding – calling it inhumane.

But Israel says it’s worried that hunger strikes by Palestinians in its jails could lead to their deaths and spark waves of protests.

Right now, there are two prisoners on hunger strike in Israel. One has been refusing food for 12 days, the other for 43.

And they’re just two of 6,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails.

Around 400 of them have been detained without charges. They’re the ones most likely to use hunger strikes to demand release or trial.

That figure has doubled in the past year.

So, is force-feeding a form of torture? Or a way to keep prisoners alive?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida


Yoel Donchin – Member of the Israeli Medical Association.

Sahar Francis – Director at Addameer, a prisoner support and human rights association.

Dr Shimon Glick – Medical ethicist and supporter of force-feeding for humanitarian purposes.

James Turpin – Acting head of the United Nations Human Rights office in Ramallah.