B’Tselem strongly condemns execution of two Palestinians in Gaza Strip

Press release from B’Tselem:

B’Tselem strongly condemns execution of two Palestinians in Gaza Strip

B’Tselem strongly condemns the execution today of two Palestinians convicted of collaboration with Israel, by the Hamas government in Gaza. The death penalty is immoral and violates the basic right to life of every human being. B’Tselem holds that under no circumstance must it be imposed.

In addition to objection in principle to the death penalty, today’s execution was based on a trial that did not meet even minimal standards of due process. Gazans charged with collaboration are unable to mount a proper defense or to appeal the verdicts and punishments imposed upon them.

Today’s execution is the first official execution in Gaza since Hamas’ takeover. Reports by media and Palestinian human rights groups indicate that 14 people were sentenced to death in Gazan military courts in 2009 for collaboration with Israel, treason and murder. Additionally, according to Human Rights Watch, during Operation Cast Lead, 32 Palestinians were executed without trial by Palestinian armed groups apparently associated with Hamas, for allegedly providing Israel with information.