Ref: 12/2018

Date: 21 January 2018

On Friday, 19 January 2018, Al-Qassam Brigades in the Gaza Strip killed a person accused of collaboration with Israel.  His family said that their son was executed after al-Qassam shared and discussed with them evidence proving that he was involved in providing information that led to the assassination of 3 leaders in al-Qassam Brigades.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reiterates its condemnation of the Israeli assassinations and emphasizes that each person involved in them shall be brought to trial before the official judiciary, which guarantees fair trials; in the same time, PCHR rejects retribution by either individuals or movements.

PCHR emphasizes that extra-judicial killing will never achieve justice or calmness in society.  Moreover, acknowledgement of the killed person’s family that their son deserves being killed does not legitimize the execution.  Further, appearing before the natural judge according to the law is each person’s right no matter how grave the accused’s offense.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, at approximately 10:45, on Friday, 19 January 2018, (A. B.) (38) arrived a dead body and hit with a bullet to the chest.  In their statement, the family disowns their son (A. B.) and says: “We welcome the execution of the aforementioned” in reference to their son.  The statement adds, “the family has followed up the investigation … conducted by the Palestinian Resistance Security, which shared with us the investigation results and made us hear his confessions in addition to seeing with our own eyes the crime instrumentalities… the Family has become certain beyond doubt that the aforementioned is involved in the assassination crime of great Qassam leaders and martyrs; Mohammed Abu Shammallah; Ra’ed al-‘Attar; and the family’s son Mohammed Barhoum.”  Meanwhile, the official authorities have made no comment on the incident.

PCHR stresses that philosophy of justice is not based on having confidence in the judge but in the procedural process and accused person’s right to defend himself by a qualified person (practicing lawyer).

PCHR also emphasizes that the judicial procedures, evidentiary process and sifting evidence are in all a very complicated process that needs a judge with long years of work experience.  Thus, acknowledgment of the family or the party’s committee does not substitute these conditions and requirements.

PCHR stresses that justice is indivisible and shall be indistinctively applied for the perpetrator and victim when it comes to an irreversible punishment such as death penalty for such a dangerous accusation as collaboration.  Moreover, Applying law and respecting its procedures and rule shall be promoted to avoid having any possible error or questioning the ruling validity. These conditions are indispensible to achieve calmness in society that is the ultimate goal of justice.

PCHR points out that killing A. B. is a serious violation of Palestinian’s obligations at the international level, particularly Article (6) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Common Article 3 of Geneva Conventions.  It also violates the Palestinian Basic Law and applicable Penal Code.

PCHR hereby warns of the dangerous effects of such practices on the stability and rule of law inside and image of the Palestinian cause outside, particularly in light of the Israeli attempts to apply death penalty against Palestinian prisoners in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).  Therefore, PCHR calls upon the authorities in control to put pressure on al-Qassam Brigades to respect the law.

PCHR also calls upon the two parties to the reconciliation to promptly unify and rehabilitate the judiciary and rule of law as a prelude to end the division completely in a way that guarantees the end of retribution by individuals in the Gaza Strip.