Israeli prison service mulls force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike

JERUSALEM, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) — A total of 234 Palestinian prisoners are on a weeks-long open-ended hunger strike in Israeli jails, making the Israel Prison Service (IPS) consider force- feeding them, an official of the Israeli prisons authority told Xinhua Sunday.

“Prisoners are in good condition considering that some of them haven’t eaten since almost two weeks ago,” spokeswoman of the prisons authority Sivan Weizman said, adding that the prison service is looking into the option of force-feeding the prisoners if their health is in danger.

“We will examine force-feeding them when the time comes, but for now we’re standing by to let them protest. If we want to make them eat, the law is on our side,” she said.

The hunger strike, which was launched late September by 60 inmates in protest of the decision to restrict the prisoners’ rights in order to pressure the Islamic Hamas movement into releasing a captive Israeli soldier, was joined by an increasing number of Palestinian prisoners.

“The strikers have issued a statement that they are protesting the fact that some of the prisoners have been separated from the general population,” read a statement released by the Israeli prison service on Sunday.

“Several prisoners are also claiming that the IPS has infringed on various aspects of their living conditions,” the statement said.

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