On Monday morning, 17 August 2015, the Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR) organized in cooperation with the Prisoners’ Committee of Islamic and national Factions a seminar titled “Fore-Feeding is a War Crime”. The seminar, which was held in the Commodore Hotel in Gaza City, was organized in support for the administrative detainee on hunger strike in the Israeli prisons, Mohammed ‘Allan.
The seminar was opened by lawyer Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, who emphasized that lawyer Mohammed ‘Allan is on hunger strike on behalf of the detainees and the nation in the face of the jailer. Sourani added that force-feeding is a medical term that allows doctors to feed the patient when his condition deteriorates and loses control over his consciousness. Force-feeding is conditioned by the approval of a detainee’s family, in the cases that the life of the detainee would be at risk. Sourani clarified that Israel wants to carry out force-feeding against the Palestinian administrative detainees on hunger strike, and the difference between the two cases is clear. The issue here is relating to national and struggle symbols who have suffered injustice, oppression, and an illegal and unfair measure when they are placed under administrative detention. He added that administrative detention orders are implemented without trial and charges, but they are only dependent on intelligence information that is not informed or unknown even to the detainee or his lawyer. Additionally, there have been hundreds of examples that show the Israeli occupation authorities’ injustice in practicing the administrative detention against Palestinian detainees. As a result, after having exhausted all other available means, including resorting to Israeli courts which constitute legal cover for the Israeli occupation, these detainees have protested against cruel detention conditions struggling with their body cells to prove to the whole world their moral superiority over Israeli authorities. In addition, Sourani warned that any doctor who practices force-feeding will be subject to prosecution before the international justice, and all those who are involved in this crime will be prosecuted, for the administrative detention orders and ending with force-feeding. Sourani added, we will not abandon the detainees, including Mohammed ‘Allan, and the coming few days will witness an international effort to persecute Israeli war criminal regarding their crimes against Palestinian, including the latest offensive on the Gaza Strip and the crimes of blockade, the wall and settlement activities.
Mr. Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, called for additional international action to stop or cancel this law and other laws enacted by Israeli occupation authorities against Palestinians. He pointed out that the force-feeding law is contrary to international law and it poses a direct threat to the lives of detainees who use hunger strike as a last resort. Fares added that Israel is on crisis, and its government has not found any doctor to participate in force-feeding, and such laws will not end Israeli’s crisis. Fares called on Israel to stop the administrative detention and the law of force-feeding, and other laws including the law relating to increasing penalties against Palestinian children. In addition, he stressed that the Palestinian people are required to support the prisoners’ in the face of administrative detention. He also called on the Palestinian national movement to take a decision to boycott Israeli military courts, and the Israeli judiciary in general.
Mustafa Maslamani, a former prisoner, expressed gratitude and thanks to PCHR for its continuous efforts to expose the occupation and prosecute the Israeli war criminals. He added that force-feeding was practiced against prisoners without legal cover, but Israel has recently enacted a force-feeding law against prisoners, giving an official Israeli cover for this practice. International and human rights organizations have condemned this policy, putting the Israeli occupation under accusation. Furthermore, Maslamani added that all of us should continue the struggle to cancel this law and this will be achieved only through concerted efforts by the human rights movement and the national movement. He emphasized that we want serious and practical steps towards the prosecution of Israeli war criminals. Mohammed Allan had been on strike for 63 days and he is still steadfast, so we have to support him and initiate extensive public efforts in order to force the occupation to release him.
Mohammed ‘Allan’s father appreciated the solidarity campaign with his son. He said that Mohammed ‘Allan belongs to the whole Palestinian people, who all support him. The father also said: “We thank you, appreciate your efforts and encourage you. Allah will being the happy end soon”.
Um Ibrahim Barud, an activist in defending detainees and the mother of a former prisoner, presented an intervention. She talked about the prisoners who are defending their homeland and the dignity of the Palestinian people and the whole Arab. Barud emphasized that the Israeli prison service went to extremes in repressing the detainees especially after the Palestinian division. She stressed that our victory will be achieved when we are united and standing side by side confronting the Israeli occupation, which has occupied our land for 67 years. She saluted Mohammed ‘Allan wishing him to triumph like Khader ‘Adnan who won his battle.
At the end of the seminar, the participants presented interventions calling for enduring efforts to support lawyer Mohammed ‘Allan and the Palestinian detainees in the Israeli prisons. They also emphasized the importance that all should participate in these efforts..