Israeli soldiers stand guard as Palestinians hold national flags and posters of jailed relatives during a protest in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike,in the West Bank city of Hebron June 4, 2014.REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma
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Proposed legislation to permit the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike is pitting Israel's government against the country's main doctors' association and other rights groups, which contend the practice amounts to torture.Faced with the second large-scale Palestinian hunger strike in two years, Israel's government is promoting a bill that would allow a judge to sanction force-feeding if an inmate's life is perceived to be in danger.Israel's National Council of Bioethics has also weighed in, saying it opposes the proposed bill.Another group, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, contacted the World Medical Association last month, asking that it help stop the legislation.Qadoura Fares, an advocate for Palestinian prisoners, said Palestinians would seek international condemnation of Israel if the legislation is passed.Currently, some 5,000 Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel, including 191 in administrative detention.In negotiating an end to that strike, Israel promised to scale back administrative detentions, said Dayif of Physicians for Human Rights.
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