World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestine’s Health Ministry on Friday warned the Israeli authorities against force-feeding hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners, saying the move could endanger their lives.
"Force-feeding is considered physical and psychological torture and could lead to the death of prisoners," the ministry said in a statement.
"This brutal policy is considered a serious violation of medical ethics and international treaties," it added.
The ministry went on to note that both the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization had voiced opposition to the practice of force-feeding prisoners.
"We call upon international organizations to put pressure on Israel to meet the demands of [hunger-striking] prisoners," the ministry added.
Force-feeding entails the feeding of prisoners against their will by inserting rubber tubes into their mouths or noses while physically restraining them.
Israeli media reported on Thursday that a number of hospitals had been instructed by the Israeli Health Ministry to prepare to force-feed hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.
Last month, hundreds of Palestinians jailed by Israel -- led by imprisoned Palestinian resistance icon Marwan Barghouti -- began an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions.
In a related development on Friday, two separate marches were staged in Jordanian capital Amman -- one by leftist groups and another by an Islamic group -- to show solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers.
According to Palestinian figures, Israel is currently holding more than 6,500 Palestinians -- including 57 women and 300 children -- at 24 detention centers throughout the country.