Violent clashes have erupted between extremist Israelis and hundreds of Palestinians who were protesting against force-feeding of a hunger striking Palestinian prisoner.
The violence broke out on Wednesday after a number of Israelis shouted racist and anti-Islam slogans to at least 200 Palestinians, including lawyers and some parliament members, who were holding a demo outside the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Allan is hospitalized.
Israeli police forces used water cannon to disperse the protesters and arrested at least five people, including two Israelis.
Protesters said force-feeding hunger striking prisoners is illegal and they would continue their protests in solidarity with Allan until he is released.
Allan has been on hunger strike for nearly 60 days in protest against his detention without any charge or trial.
Allan’s lawyer Jamil al-Khatib told AFP that Israeli judicial officials had “informed me of the intention to proceed with the force-feeding of Mr. Allan” last Saturday, adding that Allan, himself a lawyer, was placed in intensive hospital care since his body failed to absorb drinking water.
On August 8, the United Nations condemned a new Israeli law that allows the force-feeding of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners, and labeled the practice “a violation of internationally-protected human rights.”
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, more than 150 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have started their hunger strike since last weekend in protest against humiliating treatment from Israeli jailers and poor imprisonment conditions.