Gilad Erdan
Gilad Erdan Flash 90, Yoav Ari Dudkevitch

Internal Security Minister MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) defended on Wednesday the recent legalization of force-feeding hunger-striking security prisoners, before attacking the Israel Medical Association for its opposition. 

"As part of the uncompromising struggle against terrorism, the state of Israel exercises administrative detention designed to prevent attacks on Israeli territory," Erdan wrote on Facebook. 

"Israel is not the only country using it. Even in Britain, the United States, Australia and Ireland, which do not face the same security challenges as us, they are also taking this step."

"Administrative detainees, backed by left-wing NGOs, have decided to fight their detention through hunger strikes," Erdan asserted. "They think that because they strike, Israel will surrender and release them. Therefore, like many other countries, we have decided to fight [this phenomenon] through a medical feeding procedure. 

Erdan noted that force-feeding is practiced in many democratic countries around the world, including the US, Austria, Australia and Germany. 

"Furthermore," he continued, "the European Court of Human Rights explicitly stated that international law does not prohibit feeding prisoners against their will if there is a fear of irreversible damage." 

"The court ruled explicitly that if there is a real need to save the life of a prisoner, even if it is against his wishes, it does not violate the World Medical Association's International Code of Medical Ethics."

"Somehow though," Erdan charged, "the chairman of the IMA [Dr. Dr. Leonid Edelman], for reasons God only knows, has forbidden doctors from handling these prisoners. He forbid doctors to even check Mohammad Allan's medical condition. Why not let him die?"

"Aren't doctors obliged to save every human being? Is it not part of the medical oath?" Erdan blasted. "Where are Edelman's answers?"

"Medical intervention is intended on the one hand to save a person's life and on the other to avoid a situation in which terrorists become effective tools in pressuring the state for their release."

Whoever doesn't understand that, Erdan argued, "and turns force-feeding into a human rights issue, ignores and blurs the truth."

"I am not prepared to see the streets of Israel filled with hundreds of terrorists who went on hunger strikes and were released. It's time the Israel Medical Association also understand that."