This morning, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) sent a
letter to Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, appealing to him to stop the
application of the death penalty under the Palestinian National Authority
(PNA), in light the latest developments in the Gaza Strip with regard to the
implementation of two death sentences in violation of the law and the
constitution. PCHR has expressed concern
that more death sentences may be implemented.


In its letter, PCHR has requested that President Abbas, in his capacity
as President of the PNA and in accordance with Article 43 of the PNA Basic Law,
issue a presidential decree that has the power of a law stopping the
application of the death penalty both at the legislative and executive


PCHR has also referred to its previous position rejecting all
legislation promulgated under the current state of political division, both
legislations enacted by the Change and Reform Bloc in the Palestinian
Legislative Council (PLC), and decrees that have the power of laws issued in
the absence of the PLC and its inability to carry out its duties. However, PCHR
emphasized that its letter and demand are motivated by an urgent necessity and
in the framework of the available constitutional space, as the PNA President has
the right, when absolutely necessary, to take decisions that have the power of
laws, provided that they are presented to the PLC during the first session it
convenes following the issuance of any of such decision.


PCHR has further emphasized the necessity to comply
with international human rights instruments as stipulated in the Palestinian
basic law, and in consistency with international efforts in this regard,
particularly the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution on
18 December 2007 with an overwhelming majority, calling for a stop of the
application of the death penalty as a first step towards the complete abolishment
of this penalty.