SHAMS. There are 77 punishable crimes by the death penalty according to the Palestinian Law. Since the establishment of the PNA in 1994, some 260 death sentences have been issued: around 230 in Gaza and 30 in the West Bank. In the same period, 41 executions were carried out: 39 in Gaza and two in the West Bank. Prisoners sentenced to death are not kept separate from other prisoners, as we saw during our visit in Jericho in 2016. Detention conditions are dreadful for the whole prison population.
Three death sentences were issued during the month of Ramadan, two of them on the very first day. For Muslims, Ramadan is a symbol of tolerance and forgiveness. There should be no place for death!
The government of Hamas has repeatedly issued death sentences over the past two years, on or close to October 10th, date of the International Day Against Death Penalty. In 2021, ten sentences involving capital punishment were handed down in October. This demonstrates a complete disregard for human rights. Since the division between Fatah and Hamas in 2007, 28 death sentences have been handed down without the signature of the Palestinian president in the Gaza strip. This constitutes a violation of the law.
Both military and civil courts can issue death sentences: by hanging for civilians, and by firing squad for the military. In the West Bank, civilians have not been tried before military courts since 2016 and no death sentence has been implemented since 2005. In Gaza, civilians are still tried by military courts and sentenced to death by Hamas. This is against the Palestinian Basic Law, and means that there is absolutely no guarantee of fair trial conditions.
According to the law, children cannot be punished by capital punishment. A death sentence regarding a child has never been issued nor implemented. Only one woman has ever been sentenced to death in 2016 in Gaza. She has not been executed as of date. Her detention conditions have been the same as other women prisoners. Women are always incarcerated separately from men, no matter their sentencing.