When writing and thinking about Palestine under both Hamas and Fatah, never forget the gross human rights abuses under their rule (and yes, Fatah is backed, armed, trained, funded and inspired by the US):
Last November, Muhammad Al Saba, 36, from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip was sentenced to death by hanging by a military court in Gaza for alleged acts of “treason and collaborating with hostile forces.”
Al Saba is one of 17 Palestinians, 14 in Gaza and three in the West Bank, sentenced to death in 2009, and currently languishing in prisons across the occupied Palestinian territories.
Military or state security courts in both the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled West Bank and the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip continue to sentence Palestinians to death at an alarming rate, despite calls from international and regional human rights organisations for a complete moratorium.
Of particular concern to the rights groups is the significant number of Palestinians sentenced to death for allegedly collaborating with a rival Palestinian faction as well as the broad number of offences for which capital punishment can be meted out.
“Executing prisoners convicted in unfair trials would only undermine Abu Mazen’s [PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ nickname] attempt to bolster his ‘law and order’ credentials,” says Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director of Human Rights Watch.