World

Israel passes law allowing force-feeding of prisoners such as hunger-striking Palestinians

  • FILE - In this Sunday, July 12, 2015, file photo, Palestinian Khader Adnan, center, who recently ended a 55-day hunger strike, is greeted by Palestinians after his release from an Israeli prison in the West Bank village of Arrabeh near Jenin. Israel's parliament passed a contentious law on Thursday that would permit the force-feeding of inmates on hunger strike, eliciting harsh criticism over the practice. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday, July 12, 2015, file photo, Palestinian Khader Adnan, center, who recently ended a 55-day hunger strike, is greeted by Palestinians after his release from an Israeli prison in the West Bank village of Arrabeh near Jenin. Israel's parliament passed a contentious law on Thursday that would permit the force-feeding of inmates on hunger strike, eliciting harsh criticism over the practice. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 , file photo, a Palestinian woman holds a poster with a drawing depicting Islamic Jihad member Khader Adnan with a locked mouth, who has been on hunger strike for two months, during a demonstration in Jerusalem. Israel's parliament passed a contentious law on Thursday that would permit the force-feeding of inmates on hunger strike, eliciting harsh criticism over the practice. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 , file photo, a Palestinian woman holds a poster with a drawing depicting Islamic Jihad member Khader Adnan with a locked mouth, who has been on hunger strike for two months, during a demonstration in Jerusalem. Israel's parliament passed a contentious law on Thursday that would permit the force-feeding of inmates on hunger strike, eliciting harsh criticism over the practice. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Israeli parliament has passed a law that would permit the force-feeding of inmates on hunger strike.

The law, passed Thursday in the Knesset, allows a judge to sanction the force-feeding or administration of medical treatment if there is a threat to the inmate's life, even if the prisoner refuses.

Palestinians held in Israeli jails have held rounds of hunger strikes over recent years, protesting their detention. Many have been hospitalized and their failing health has caused tensions to flare among Palestinians. Israel fears that a hunger striking prisoner's death could trigger unrest.

Critics, including medical associations, say force-feeding is unethical. They say the law is political, meant to prevent violence sparked by a hunger striker's death rather than protect the prisoner's dignity and well-being.