The panel appointed by the UN Human Rights Council presented its report on the 2014 Gaza war on June 22, harshly criticizing Israel for the killing of more than 1,400 Palestinians, among them hundreds of children. In a strange coincidence, almost simultaneously, there was a stormy session of the Knesset’s Government Oversight Committee about Israel’s efforts to save the lives of several dozen Palestinians. The Knesset debate followed the June 14 announcement by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan of his intention to push forward legislation allowing Israel to force-feed hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners or administrative detainees whose lives are in danger.
But the minister and his colleagues, who are determined to adopt the bill, are not necessarily motivated by a genuine concern for the well-being of the Palestinian prisoners or their claims. They seem more worried about the damage that the possible death of the hunger strikers could cause to Israel’s image. The bomb is ticking under their feet. June 23 marked 50 days of the hunger strike by Khader Adnan, a detainee whose life is in imminent danger. Three years ago, Adnan forced the Israeli authorities to free him after a 66-day strike. In July 2014, he was placed under administrative detention, without trial, for the 9th time. Adnan announced that he would stop eating until he is released from jail, put on trial or returns his soul to his maker, whichever comes first.