Left to right: Martyrs Isaac Maragha, Ali Ja'fari and Rassem Halawa, who lead a 33-day hunger strike in Nafha prison and died of force-feeding consequences in 1980.

35 years on Israel’s force-feeding crimes

Despite the international medical and humane prohibition of  it, Israeli occupation authorities on 14/ 6/ 1980 have ratified law allowing force-feeding of the imprisoned hunger-strikers; a law considered an act of torture that can lead to death.

Force-feeding is known to be one of the most dangerous, painful and inhumane acts, since it involves violent injection of a plastic tube through the nasal opening, that reaches down to the stomach and carries liquid nutrition.

On 14/7/1980, the three prisoners, Ali Ja’fari, Rassem Halawa and Isaac Maragha, have led a 33-day hunger strike in Nafha Israeli prison, and died following the cruel force-feeding procedures.

The force-feeding process was repeated multiple times as a form of pressure to make the prisoners bind and retreat from their strike.

During the hunger-strike, Israel used different ways of repression, including isolation and psychological warfare. In addition, 26 prisoners were moved to Ramla prison where they were tortured hideously to break their hunger-strike.

The Israeli prison administration refused to offer the victims any medical treatment.

According to report by the Palestinian Prisoners Committee, martyr Ali Ja’fari went into a comma during the first round of torture.

On 22/7/1980 he was taken to the force-feeding room where the procedure was violently carried out. The tube inserted hit his lung and he started vomiting blood until his death. Ja’fari’s dead body was detained by Israel for 13 years before submitted to his family.

His two other fellows went through similar circumstances until their death as well.

The report by the Palestinian Prisoners Committee said that Israel constructed Nafha prison to use it as a tool of  repression, where prisoners were stripped from all their human-rights and necessities of life including food, health, and suffered savage treatment and isolation, until the current day.

On a related matter, the Knesset two weeks ago voted to pass a bill allowing Israel to force-feed hunger strikers detained in Israeli prisons. The vote passed by a close margin of 53 in favour and 50 opposed, according to IMEMC.

IMEMC said that the court would have to analyze the detainee’s mental state as well as carry out a health risk assessment. If the prison is given permission, the prisoner can then be fed against their will and a guard will be allowed to use physical force where necessary.