EU slams Hamas for death sentences

Death penalty sentences have skyrocketed in Gaza since Hamas took control in 2007.

By Andrew Isaacson, TPS

The European Union’s (EU) Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah condemned the Hamas terror organization on Tuesday for two death sentences it issued in the Gaza Strip earlier this month.

These two latest death sentences are the fifth and sixth handed down by a Hamas court in the Gaza Strip in 2021.

“The EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah recall their firm opposition under all circumstances to the use of capital punishment,” the EU’s statement said. “The EU considers that abolition of the death penalty contributes to the protection of human dignity and progressive development of human rights. It considers capital punishment to be cruel and inhuman, that it fails to provide deterrence to criminal behaviour, and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.”

The statement said authorities in Gaza need to forgo carrying out executions of prisoners and comply with the moratorium on executions put in place by the Palestinian Authority

Death penalty sentences have skyrocketed in Gaza since Hamas took control in 2007.

Last year, Hamas judges issued 16 death sentences in Gaza, and seven of them were tried in absentia. Since 2007, Hamas courts have passed down 128 death sentences and the Hamas government has executed 25 persons.

In 2018, the PA signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, established to bring an end to the death penalty to enhance human dignity and progressive development of human rights.

Over 70% of the world has abolished capital punishment in their countries.