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Palestinian activists reject Israel force-feeding prisoners

In an interview with Al-Monitor, former Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi condemns the Israeli bill allowing force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strikes, stressing that such strikes, as the one taking place now, are the prisoners' only option to protest illegal detention.
Palestinians hold pictures of prisoners during a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 7, 2014. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concerns on Friday about the worsening health of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli detention and demanded that they either be formally charged or released immediately. Some 120 Palestinians jailed without trial in Israel have been on an open-ended hunger strike, eating only salt and
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The Knesset was in an uproar this week, following the June 9 approval of the first reading of a law that would allow the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike. The law is being advanced by the Israeli government, under instructions from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At the same time, the hunger strike by a dozen Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention in Israeli jails is expanding. It now enters its 50th day.

The current strike by administrative detainees began on April 24. A group of 85 prisoners launched a hunger strike with no time limit, until they are either put on trial or released from prison. Over time, their numbers grew, so there are now 240 prisoners participating in the strike. Many have since been hospitalized because of their declining health.

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