Israel Prison Service To Establish Emergency Room for Hunger-Strikers

In order avoid irreversible health problems caused by long-term fasting, the IPS medical center in Ramla will establish an emergency room to deal with hunger-strikers.

By Mati Tuchfeld, Itsik Saban & Gadi Golan


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the authorities on Sunday to examine the possibility of building a special medical emergency room in the framework of the Israel Prison Service, in light of the case of Mohammad Allan, an Islamic Jihad activist imprisoned in Israel who has refused food for over 50 days.

Prisoners in an Israeli jail – Photo: Tal Cohen

The new emergency room is expected to be set up at the IPS medical center in Ramla.

Netanyahu said that creating a special emergency room to be staffed by IPS doctors would enable the circumvention of the Israel Medical Association’s ethics committee, which is refusing to force-feed hunger-striking prisoners.

The decision to establish a unique prison emergency room followed a telephone discussion between Netanyahu, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, and IPS, security and legal representatives.

During the discussion, Netanyahu called the medical association’s ruling against force-feeding hunger-striking prisoners “excessively sanctimonious.”

Security officials added that the doctors’ prohibition on force-feeding could create a dangerous situation, in that the death of a hunger-striking prisoner is likely to spark a wave of riots and attempts at revenge by Arabs in Israel and the West Bank.

At present, the decision to impose medical treatment on Allan is expected to be enforced, out of concern that after 50 days of fasting irreversible damage may occur.

Doctors at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon have said they would be willing to break the medical association’s ruling and treat Allan as needed. He is expected to be transferred there in the coming days.


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