Palestinians says prisoner in Israel force-fed

2016-01-12 21:14


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Ramallah - A Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) body charged Israeli authorities on Tuesday with force-feeding a prisoner who has been on a hunger strike for 48 days.

The Commission for Prisoner Affairs said they were worried for the life of 33-year-old Muhammad Qeeq, who began refusing food on November 25 to protest his detention without trial or charge.

The head of the commission, Issa Qaraqi, charged that the ethics committee at the Afula civilian hospital in northern Israel where Qeeq is being treated, authorised the administration of nutrients to him intravenously against his will, via an infusion.

If true, it would be the first time that a Palestinian prisoner has been force-fed since Israel passed a law on the issue in July.

Israel Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman vehemently denied the charge. "There has been no forced-feeding here," she said.

She confirmed that Qeeq, a journalist working for the Islamist Saudi-based al-Majd satellite television station, had been on a hunger strike for 48 days.

Qeeq was arrested at his home in the central West Bank village of Abu Qash, near Ramallah, on November 21 and placed under so-called "administrative detention" for six months.

An administrative detention order allows Israel to jail suspects deemed a security risk without trial or charge, for limited periods of up to six months, which, however, can be extended.

In July, Israel's parliament passed a highly controversial law that allows the prison authority to ask a court for permission to force-feed a prisoner if a doctor recommends doing so and there is an imminent danger to the hunger striker. 

The request must by reviewed by the court, which has to take into account the dangers of forced feeding and its invasiveness, the prisoner's mental state and his stance on the matter. 

Meanwhile, two Palestinians were shot dead in the West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry and Israeli army said.

One was shot in the chest during clashes between Palestinians, who threw rocks and petrol bombs, and Israeli soldiers, who drove into the southern West Bank town after shots were fired from a passing car at a nearby army checkpoint.

Another was killed earlier when he tried to stab an Israeli soldier at a junction near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Read more on:    palestine  |  israel

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