Ref:
36/2014

 

On
Monday, 27 October 2014, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
organized a panel discussion on "Prosecuting Suspected Collaborators with
Israeli Forces and Extra-judicial Executions" in the Laterna hall in Gaza
City. A number of politicians, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council
(PLC) and CBOs, representatives of the police and security services, public
figures, academics and media figures participated in the panel discussion.

 

This
panel discussion was held in view of extra-judicial executions applied during
the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, as PCHR believes such crimes undermine
the rule of law, security and serenity of the Palestinian society. Therefore,
PCHR works on putting an end to this phenomenon in cooperation with different
competent bodies, stressing the importance of prosecuting suspected
collaborators in the context of the rule of law and guarantees to a fair trial.
Furthermore, the panel aimed to highlighting the phenomenon of prosecuting
suspected collaborators with the Israeli forces, the application of
extra-judicial executions and the position of human rights organizations
regarding this phenomenon.

 

Mr.
Hamdi Shaqoura, PCHR’s Deputy Director for Program Affairs, opened the session
and presented a position paper issued by PCHR on "Execution on suspicion
of collaboration with Israeli forces". He addressed extra-judicial
executions and how they threaten the society’s safety and the rule of law.
Moreover, Mr. Shaqoura underscored the application of executions against
suspected collaborators without the ratification of the Palestinian President
according to, inter alia, the Palestinian Basic Law 2003. He also
addressed PCHR’s rejection of the death penalty. Mr. Shaqoura explained that
PCHR’s position towards crimes committed by those collaborators is part and
parcel of its position towards crimes committed by Israeli forces. Therefore,
as long as the prosecution of Israeli war criminals is an international duty, the
prosecution of collaborators and bringing them to justice is a purely
Palestinian duty for which the Palestinian Authority is fully responsible. Mr.
Shaqoura added that what happened during the Israeli offensive on the Gaza
Strip and inability to hold trials during the offensive can never be justified,
stressing that the right to a fair trial cannot be suspended even in time of
war or emergency.

 

Five
other topics were discussed in the panel discussion. Firstly, extra-judicial
executions on suspicion of collaboration with the Israeli forces, and whether
it is a phenomenon?; secondly, the position of the international and domestic
laws from the extra-judicial executions; thirdly, the impact of applying
extra-judicial executions; fourthly, the position of Islamic Shari’a from the
application of extra-judicial executions; and finally, the role of media
regarding the phenomenon of extra-judicial executions.

The
participants agreed on refusing the extra-judicial executions, which were
carried out during the Israeli offensive, and presented recommendations
including:

1. There
must be a clear and public position from all the political forces and civil
society organizations to reject and condemn the phenomenon of killing persons
suspected of collaborating with Israel;

2. Investigating
all the crimes of extra-judicial executions carried out during the latest
offensive on the Gaza Strip and bringing their perpetrators before justice;

3. Considering
all persons, who were killed by gunmen during the offensive on charges of
collaborating with Israel, as victims and following up their families by the
competent authorities;

4. A
Palestinian committee must be formed to investigate all murders so that there
would not be no justification for the prosecution of Palestinian officials
before the international court;

5. Raising
the level of the Palestinian media awareness about the rule of law and PCHR’s
position regarding the death penalty and extrajudicial killings; and

6. Following
up the work of the investigation committees, which were formed following the
killing of suspected collaborators with the Israeli forces during the
(2008-2009) and (2012) wars and ensuring that they come out with results
guaranteeing the prosecution of perpetrators and the non-recurrence of such
acts.

 

The
Participants received a position paper titled as "Execution on Suspicion
of Collaboration with Israel" and a brochure titled as: "Together
against Death Penalty"

 

It
should be noted that this panel discussion is part of a project implemented by
PCHR in cooperation with the German Representative Office to the Palestinian
Authority.