From the field - In Israeli prisons, political acts with medical consequences

In Israeli prisons, political acts with medical consequences - © ICR

In Israeli prisons, political acts with medical consequences - © ICR

Over 1,600 Palestinian detainees held in Israeli prisons went on hunger strike last April, demanding that authorities put an end to their administrative detention and resume family visits.

An agreement berween detainee representatives and detaining authorities was signed on May 14 but some detainees remain on hunger strike.

The ICRC never takes a position in favour or against the detainees during hunger strikes. However, our detention doctors play an important role, explaining the consequences of their actions to hunger strikers on one hand and reminding detaining authorities to respect the moral and physical integrity of the detainees on the other.

As the head doctor of our Tel Aviv-based detention team, Dr. Nicoloz Sadradze visits the detainees who have chosen to continue their protest. He explains the neutral role of the ICRC in situations of hunger strikes, the meaning of the Declaration of Malta on Hunger Strikers and his interaction with Israeli authorities on this often sensitive subject.