Lieberman says let hunger-striker die in prison

Former Foreign Minister, leader of right wing nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman criticizes Netanyahu’s weak stance over detainees on hunger strike

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A girl holds a placard depicting her relative during a demonstration to show solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners held by Israel

The leader of secularist, right wing nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, has criticized Netanyahu administration’s decisions over latest hunger strikes, saying Israel should have allowed a hunger striker detainee to die in prison and asked his party executives to be ready for elections in 2016 on Sunday.

The nationalist leader criticized Netanyahu’s weak stance, in Jerusalem during a meeting with his party’s members of parliament in Knesset pointing at Mohammad Al Lan’s situation, who finished his hunger strike due to his health issues after a 65-day hunger strike.

He said that ‘’we have seen how the government takes the important tool of administrative detention and rendered it useless, over the years, including at the beginning of the military operation in Gaza, I’ve told Netanyahu that if you start something then do it all the way. It’s the same with administrative detention. If you detain someone, then go all the way. Don’t give in to any pressure, and if he wants to hunger strike to death, let him die”

Mohammad Allan is a Palestinian lawyer who is a member of Islamic Jihad, he began his hunger strike on June 16 and for more than 60 days he refused any kind of food. It was one of the longest hunger strikes conducted by Palestinian detainees in years. Allan lost his consciousness and his doctors said that he may have suffered brain damage. He was released by Israeli Supreme Court saying his health deteriorated so much during his fast that he no longer pose a threat.

Lieberman said Allan was able to take on the state and win because Netanyahu’s government “broadcasts a message of defeat, fear and indecision.”

While hunger strikes are taken as a method for Palestinian people who are detained by Israel, to protest against the applications of the Israeli government, Israel sees the hunger strike as a tool for Palestinians who go on hunger strike that may possibly end with death and triggers more protests in the occupied West Bank.

On the other side, UN officials in the West Bank said that ‘’hunger strike is a non violent form of protest that is used by individuals who have exhausted other forms of protest to highlight the seriousness of their situations.’’

Which is why the Israeli parliament last month passed the legislation that allows authorities to use ‘’force-feeding’’ that is considered a form of torture and medically risky by Israeli Medical Association and urge Israeli doctors not to abide by the law last.

UN officials from the office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, and the World Health Organisation named the new law "a cause for concern to those who work to protect the right to health of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory."


TRTWorld and agencies