Israel Medical Association Urges Doctors Not to Force-Feed Detainees

'Force-Feeding Is Torture, and We Can't Have Doctors Participating'

Protracted detention without charges or access to any legal services has a way of fueling hunger strike protests, and Israel is now facing a significant number of hunger strikes among Palestinians held without charges.

Israel is reluctant to see any of the hunger strikers actually die, the Public Security Ministry fears such deaths could trigger “unrest,” but rather than given the people trials to stop the strikes, the ministry is instead pushing a law to allow force-feeding on national security grounds.

The Israel Medical Association (IMA) has issued a statement criticizing the law, and urging doctors to refuse to participate in any force-feedings against detainees.

“Force-feeding is torture, and we can’t have doctors participating in torture,” noted Ziva Miral, IMA spokeswoman. The World Medical Association has long concurred, saying forcible feedings are never ethically acceptable.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted he was confident he could find doctors to do the force-feedings anyhow, noting that the US military does the same thing at Guantanamo Bay.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of