Dozens of international, Israeli and Palestinian activists and doctors held a demonstration outside the Knesset building, in west Jerusalem, on Monday, in protest of the new bill which promotes force-feeding of hunger-striking Palestinian detainees.Hebrew and Arabic banners were raised which read, ‘Water and Salt’ and ‘force-feeding prisoners is torture’, in a call by protesters for an end of Israeli violations of human rights and international conventions.
According to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, Physicians for Human Rights Spokeswomen Amani Da‘if said: ‘This demonstration is staged as the Knesset holds a session to discuss approving a bill for force-feed hunger-striking prisoners in order to end their hunger strike.’
She described the pertaining Knesset sessions as a ‘marathon’, as the Knesset has made a top priority of the bill in its desire to obtain a second and third reading as soon as possible.
Members of Haifa youth movement were also present for the demonstration, where they waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans in support of prisoners who have been on hunger strike for nearly two months.
Also in Israeli legislation, up for its first reading in parliament is a bill which aims to deprive Palestinians from 1948 territories of national insurance benefits, should they be released before the end of their sentences.
Approved by the Knesset Labor Committee, the bill was put forward by members from the ruling coalition, while being was opposed by Arab Knesset members, including Hanin Zoabi.
The bill will be presented next Monday for second and third readings, according to WAFA.