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I want to break free

On 11 September, Israel’s high court rejected petitions by human rights groups and the Israeli medical association (IMA) to quash a law the Israeli parliament passed last year permitting force-feeding against a prisoner’s will (if a doctor judges their life is in danger).

This flies in the face of the world medical association’s Malta Declaration that the practice is ‘never ethically acceptable’. The IMA abides by the Malta Declaration; so far no Palestinian hunger-striker has been force-fed.

The authorities have avoided deaths of hunger strikers by releasing them when their heath has become critical, sometimes arresting them again when their health has improved. In early September, the high court temporarily suspended the administrative detention orders of three hunger strikers, Malik al-Qadi, and brothers Mahmoud and Muhammad Balboul. Their detention orders may be reinstated if their conditions improve. The two brothers had been on strike for more than 60 days, and al-Qadi nearly 60 days.