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Report: Shin Bet tells PM not to negotiate with hunger strikers

June 9, 2014 3:36 P.M. (Updated: June 11, 2014 8:27 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's Shin Bet security service is encouraging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to negotiate with hunger-striking Palestinian administrative detainees, Israeli media reported Monday.

Haaretz said that Netanyahu's decision not to negotiate with prisoners refusing meals, in addition to his recent push for a bill allowing the Israeli Prison Service to force-feed those on hunger strike, is based on a recommendation by the Shin Bet.

The Israeli newspaper cited sources close to Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohan as saying he believes the negotiations with Palestinian hunger strikers in 2012 was a mistake, and that such negotiations should not be repeated.

However, Cohen fears that if any strikers die, mass protests would break out in the West Bank and rockets would be fired from Gaza, Haaretz said.

Therefore, Cohen is pushing Netanyahu to advance a bill to allow force-feeding, in contravention of international standards.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on Israel to either release or charge hunger-striking Palestinian administrative detainees immediately.

Some 125 prisoners began a hunger strike on April 24 against Israel's policy of holding Palestinians in custody indefinitely without charge or trial.

Hundreds of have join the strike since then, and others have taken part in one-day solidarity strikes.
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