Ref: 67/ 2018

On Thursday, 05 July 2018, the Gaza Court of First Instance issued a death sentence against Y. B. from Gaza City after being convicted of murder. This is the first sentence after Palestine’s signing the instrument of its accession to the Additional Protocol of the 1989 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in last June.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns issuing death sentences, especially in light of absence of fair trial guarantees in the Gaza Strip. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian President to issue a Presidential decree to halt the death penalty until pending the necessary amendments in the local laws.

This sentence is the third to be issued since the begging of 2018, as the Gaza Military Court issued a sentence upholding the sentence issued against  civilian KH. S. who is convicted of collaboration with Israel. Thus, The total number of death sentences issued in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled areas has risen to 204 sentences since 1994, 30 of which have been issued in the West Bank and 174 in the Gaza Strip. Among those issued in the Gaza Strip, 116 sentences have been issued since 2007.

Since the establishment of the PA, 41death sentences were applied, 39 of which were in the Gaza Strip and two in the West Bank. Among the sentences applied in the Gaza Strip, 28 were applied since 2007 without the ratification of the Palestinian President in violation of the law.

PCHR express its continued condemnation of such inhuman punishment in light of absence of fair trial guarantees and calls upon the judiciary in Gaza not to use such  sentence until it is abolished in the necessary legal form.

PCHR calls upon the Palestinian President to make immediate amendments in the Penal Codes applicable in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, especially the Penal Law No. 74 (1936) which remains in effect in the Gaza Strip, and the Jordanian Penal Code No. 16 (1960) that is in effect in the West Bank. PCHR retreats is calls to halt the application of 1979 Revolutionary Penal Code as it is unconstitutional.