Two rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have strongly condemned the three executions carried out this morning in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.
“These executions are a clear violation of the Palestinian National Council’s ‘Partnership for democracy’ with the Assembly, in which it undertook to maintain a moratorium on executions,” said PACE’s rapporteur responsible for assessing the partnership, Jordi Xuclà (Spain, ALDE), and the rapporteur for abolition of the death penalty, Meritxell Mateu (Andorra, ALDE).
“The executions were carried out without the approval of President Mahmoud Abbas, in flagrant violation also of the Palestinian basic law,” they added, noting that the executions have also been condemned by the Prosecutor General of the Palestinian National Authority.
“Today marks a resumption of judicial executions for the first time since the 2014 reconciliation pact, and regrettably shows the continuing divisions between the West Bank-based Palestinian National Authority and de facto rulers in Gaza. We once again call on the Palestinian National Council to intervene with Hamas to stop executions in Gaza and to abolish the death penalty in the Palestinian Penal Code, as underlined in recent Assembly resolutions.”
Under the partnership, six Palestinian members are able to take part in the work of the Assembly, though without the right to vote. No executions are carried out in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.