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Palestine - Human Rights Committee - Death Penalty - May 2023

Date: May 29, 2023
Country: Palestine (State of)
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Death Penalty
Mechanism: UN Human Rights Committee
Report Type: Shadow/Parallel Report
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The State of Palestine acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on 18 March 2019. The State is now working to harmonize its domestic legislation as obligated by the Second Optional Protocol and remove the death penalty in its penal code.

The State of Palestine, however, has not yet abolished the death penalty. Nor has Palestine instituted the new penal code. Moreover, in addition to the Revolutionary Penal Code, three other laws authorize the death penalty, and Palestine must amend or harmonize these laws as well. Death sentences continue to be an available punishment and courts in the West Bank and Gaza continue to sentence people to death.

Authorities in Gaza continue to carry out executions, while authorities in the West Bank have observed a moratorium on executions since 2005. The law stipulates that executions can be carried out only if the President ratifies the death sentence, and the President has not ratified a death sentence since 2005. After the split in power on 14 June 2007 between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank under President Abbas, and the Hamas movement in Gaza, Hamas has carried out executions in Gaza without the President's requisite signature. Gazan military courts have also conducted trials of civilians, in which they can be sentenced to death.