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EU slams Gaza over executions

June 30, 2013 3:00 P.M. (Updated: July 2, 2013 9:22 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The EU mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Sunday condemned the recent execution of two Palestinians in Gaza by Hamas authorities, a statement read.

"The de facto authorities in Gaza should refrain from carrying out any executions of prisoners and comply with the de facto moratorium on executions put in place by the Palestinian Authority, pending abolition of the death penalty in line with the global trend," the statement read.

On 22 June, Hamas authorities carried out the death sentence against two convicted collaborators.

The EU said it was firmly opposed to capital punishment and that its abolition "contributes to human dignity and the progressive development of human rights."

Describing the death penalty as cruel and inhuman, the EU said the sentences were "failing to provide deterrence to criminal behavior, and representing an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity."

The Gaza government has said that it was using the death penalty as a means to deter Palestinians from collaborating with Israel. Hamas interior ministry official Salah Addin Abu Sharkh said the government had "a clear goal and several means to eradicate this dangerous epidemic," including executing convicted collaborators.

The Gaza government vowed in June to enforce the death penalty against collaborators, while the department of public prosecution said it would be demanding corporal punishment in "high profile" homicide cases.

At least three Palestinians have been sentenced to death for collaborating with Israel since the beginning of 2013.

Collaborating with Israel is punishable by death but Palestinian law requires President Mahmoud Abbas' approval before being carried out, leading to global criticism that Hamas' rulings were carried out illegally.

In 2005, Abbas announced a moratorium on all executions.
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