Law expert explores death penalty status in Palestine

The Law Department at Birzeit University held on May 16, 2017 a lecture on capital punishment inside Palestine’s legal system. The Head of the Human Rights and Democracy Media Center-Shams Omar Rahal presented the lecture.

Rahal started the lecture with a comparative overview on the different Palestinian perspectives about the death penalty, explaining the arguments of those who are with this kind of punishment and who are against. Rahal re-read the most important legalizations that control the subject, including the Mandatory Penal Law (74) of 1936, and the Jordanian Penal Code (16/1960), in addition to the “Revolutionary Penal Code”, issued by the PLO in 1979.

Rahal examined the possibility of applying death penalty in real life in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “Many judgments in death penalties were issued in the West Bank, but were not implemented. Meanwhile in Gaza, capital punishment is highly applicable especially after 2007.”

Gaza, according to Rahal, relies on the Mandatory and Revolutionary Penal Code. “These actions are not legal. They contradicts article 109 of Palestine’s amended law in 2003 which emphasized that a death penalty is not enforced unless it is ratified by the Head of the Palestinian Authority.”