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From the field

Intra-Palestinian Violations


Death Penalty in the Palestinian Authority and Under Hamas Control


International law does not ban the death penalty. It does, however, put stringent restrictions on implementing it, and encourages states having the death penalty to revoke it. Accordingly, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in article 6) requires that only the most grievous offenses be subject to the death penalty. Also, the death penalty may be imposed only where the rules of due process, as set forth in Article 14 of the Covenant, are strictly adhered to, and provided that the defendant has the right to appeal the court's decision.

Many human rights organizations, B'Tselem among them, view the death penalty as a violation of a person's fundamental right to life and as cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment, and urge all states to revoke the penalty completely. Many states have already signed the optional protocols to some international human rights conventions, which completely ban the death penalty. Read more »