EU Missions Condemn Death Sentence Issued in Gaza

JERUSALEM, December 11, 2013 (WAFA) – The EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah condemned Wednesday the death sentence issued by the Hamas authorities in Gaza on Sunday and their confirmation of an earlier death sentence passed on Thursday, according to a press statement.

The Missions called on Hamas to “refrain from carrying out any executions of prisoners,” stressing the EU’s strong opposition to the use of capital punishment.

“The EU considers that abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights,” said the Missions. “It considers capital punishment to be cruel and inhuman, that it fails to provide deterrence to criminal behavior, and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.”

Hamas in Gaza condemned the two to death after it found them guilty of murder and other charges.

While the death penalty is also allowed in the West Bank pending laws to abolish it, carrying out execution requires approval of the president of Palestine. However, since Hamas’ breakaway from the Palestinian Authority, it has carried out executions without the president’s approval.