On 17 July 2012, the Hamas authorities in Gaza executed three Palestinians condemned to death by Gaza courts: Faiz Talab Nassar al-Wahidi, 55, from Gaza city, convicted of murder and sentenced to death in December 2010, Hatem Hilmi Taleb Hirz, 21, from Juhor a-Dik, convicted of murder and sentenced to death in April 2011 and Na'el Jamal Kandil Dughmosh, 36, from Gaza city, convicted of murder and sentenced to death in April 2011.
Since Hamas took over in Gaza, 33 people have been sentenced to death by its courts, and 13 people have been executed, including some who were sentenced to death before the Hamas takeover.
In the West Bank, Palestinian Authority courts have sentenced 71 people to death since the PA was established in 1995. Thus far, 13 of them have been executed.
Under Palestinian law, execution of a condemned person requires authorization by the President of the Palestinian Authority. Since assuming the presidency in 2005, Mahmoud Abbas has refused to authorize executions, and none have been performed since then in the West Bank. Meanwhile, West Bank courts continue to mete out death sentences.
In Gaza, the Hamas regime resumed executions, arguing that Abbas’ tenure had ended and hence the Hamas government does not recognize him as President and his authorization is no longer required.
In the Hamas and PA prisons there are currently dozens of people under sentence of death and uncertain of their eventual fate. Nine of them are in West Bank prisons and the rest are in Gaza.
B’Tselem condemns the use of capital punishment, which is immoral. The state may not violate a person's right to life as means of punishment, even for the purpose of law enforcement. B'Tselem believes there should be no place for capital punishment in the law books, regardless of the crimes committed. The PA and the Hamas government must revoke the death penalty altogether. Meanwhile, the Hamas regime must cease carrying out executions.