The Israeli Knesset has postponed voting on a bill facilitating the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners, in its second and third reading, as some political parties have objected. Meanwhile, Israeli Prison Services (IPS) has imposed a string of punitive measures against Palestinian detainees, following a cabinet decision to worsen their conditions.Israeli daily ‘Haaretz’ pointed out, yesterday, that Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid demanded the postponement of the vote until a comprehensive study was conducted in regard to the nature of this controversial law.

The Israeli Hospitals Union sent a letter to Israeli PM Netanyahu and the speaker of the Knesset, stating that it is not possible to implement the law in Israeli hospitals.

The law states that IPS is authorized to order force-feeding Palestinian detainees should hunger strike endanger their lives. A new section of the bill will require doctors who refuse to force feed their patients to transfer their patient to another physician, essentially causing them to take part in torture regardless of their stance on the issue. http://imemc.org/article/68153

There are still 150 prisoners on hunger strike facing critical health conditions, Al Ray reports.

The voting was postponed for a week.

Furthermore, IPS has announced new punitive measures for Palestinian prisoners, according to Walla news site.

The decision was made in a response to an alleged connection between Hamas and the disappearance of three Israeli settlers.

The measures include loss of TV privileges, loss of commissaries and cancellation of newspaper distribution, in addition to decreased visiting times and barring prisoners from family visits.

There are 5,300 Palestinian security prisoners held in Israeli prisons, 1,000 of whom are affiliated with Hamas, Al Ray reports.

Administrative detainees have been on hunger strike since the end of last April.

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