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death-penalty
(10/03/08) -

Palestinian Majority Opposes Death Penalty

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Two-thirds of residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip reject the use of capital punishment, according to a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion. 66.9 per cent of respondents oppose the imposition of the death penalty in their territories.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Two-thirds of residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip reject the use of capital punishment, according to a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion. 66.9 per cent of respondents oppose the imposition of the death penalty in their territories.

The Palestinian Authority’s statutes allow for capital punishment, with some differences between the Palestinian Penal Code applying in the West Bank and the one applying in Gaza.

Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas won the January 2005 presidential ballot in the Palestinian Territories with 62.32 per cent of all cast ballots. In January 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council election, securing 74 of the 112 seats at stake. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh officially took over as prime minister in March. The Israeli government believes Hamas is directly responsible for the deaths of 377 citizens in a variety of attacks, which include dozens of suicide bombings.

In February 2007, Hamas and Fatah leaders reached an accord which set the guidelines for a power-sharing Palestinian administration, headed by Hamas. In June, amid a wave of violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah factions, Hamas militants seized control of Gaza. Abbas issued a decree to form a 12-member emergency government based in the West Bank and expelled Hamas from the administration. Fatah member Salam Fayyad was appointed as prime minister by Abbas.

In April, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reiterated its calls for a ban on capital punishment in the Palestinian territories, as two prisoners were given a death sentence in less than four weeks by the High Military Court of the Palestinian National Authority. The PCHR called upon the Palestinian Authority "to announce a moratorium on the use of this form of punishment that violates international human rights standards, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (1966), and the UN Convention against Torture (1984)."

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose the imposition of the death penalty in your home land?

Support

28.5%

Oppose

66.9%

Not sure

4.5%

Source: Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO)
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 1,020 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, conducted from Sept. 1 to Sept. 10, 2008. Margin of error is 2.8 per cent.