The Islamist terror group have sentenced the suspects to death after they were convicted of ‘collaborating with Israel.’
By Erin Viner
Additional suspected spies were sentenced to life behind bars or terms of hard labor, while one was found not guilty.
According to the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, one of the death row prisoners is a 57-year-old man who was sentenced to death by hanging for spying on behalf of “foreign powers.” The Permanent Military Court in the Palestinian enclave based its ruling on Article 131 of the Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979 by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The doomed man has been in custody since 21 April 2019.
It is unknown if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas approved application of the death penalty, as is required by Palestinian law. While Hamas maintained that the “judgments issued have fulfilled all legal procedures,” the internationally-recognized terror group has previously put other prisoners to death without authorization from Abbas.
The number of death sentences issued by authorities in Gaza has risen to “13 in 2021 alone, and 31 since Palestine ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 2019, which aims at the abolition of the death penalty,” said a statement published by Al Mezan.
3 Palestinians including a woman were publicly shot or hanged after being found guilty of committing the assassination of a Hamas leader in 2018.
While announcing the latest convictions, the terror group called on other ‘collaborators’ with Israel to turn themselves in on the promise they would face less severe judgement.
Saying it is “gravely concerned about the incessant issuance of death sentences by the military judiciary in the Gaza Strip, which continues despite the global trend towards universal abolition of capital punishment,” the Al Mezan group asserted that, “The practice is considered ineffective in preventing or deterring serious crime.”
The human rights group called on “competent authorities to immediately establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its definitive abolition,” while working to “rebuild the Palestinian political system and ensure that all legislation is consistent with Palestine’s international obligations and human dignity.”