Ref: 45/2014


On Tuesday, 29 April 2014, the Court of First
Instance in Khan Yunis was convened by Judge Mahmoud Barakah, acting as
president, and Judges Soliman al-Ghalban and Khalil al-Gharabli as
members.  The Court sentenced B. E. A.,
30, from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, to death after convicting him
of killing N. F., from Khan Yunis on 09 March 2009 according to the 1936
Palestinian Penal Code.  The court also
sentenced H. E. A. and ‘A. N. A., both are 25 years old and from Khan Yunis as
well, to life imprisonment after convicting them of having been involved in the
same crime.


Thus, the total number of death sentences
issued by the Palestinian Authority since 1994 has risen to 153, of which 126
have been issued in the Gaza Strip and 27 in the West Bank. Among those issued
in the Gaza Strip, 68 have been issued since Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip
in 2007. The Palestinian Authority also executed 30 death sentences, of which
28 have been executed in the Gaza Strip and 2 in the West Bank. Among those
executed in the Gaza Strip, 17 have been executed since 2007 without
ratification of the Palestinian President in violation of the law.


PCHR is gravely concerned over the continued
application of the death penalty in Palestinian Authority controlled areas,


1. Calls
for an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a form of
punishment because it violates international human rights standards and
instruments, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), and the UN
Convention against Torture (1984);

2. Calls
for reviewing all legislations related to the death penalty, especially the
Penal Code 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, and
enacting a unified penal code that is in line with the spirit of international
human rights instruments, especially those pertaining to the abolition of the
death penalty;

3. Points
out that the call for abolition of the death penalty does not reflect a
tolerance for those convicted of serious crimes, but rather a call for utilizing
deterrent penalties that maintain our humanity; and

4. Stresses
that ratification of the implementation of death sentences is an absolute power
of the Palestinian President according to the Palestinian Basic Law and
relevant laws, and no death sentence can be implemented without such