Military Court in Bethlehem Sentences a Palestinian to Death; PCHR Calls upon Palestinian President Not to Approve the Sentence, and for Abolition of Death Penalty in Palestinian Law
On Wednesday, 12 November 2008, the Military Court in Bethlehem sentenced Ayman Ahmed 'Awwad Daghamgha, 24, a member of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, from al-'Arroub refugee camp north of Hebron, to death by firing squad. The trial was administered by a panel of 3 judges (Chief Justice Fares Douda; Judge Fadi Hijazi; and Judges Ahmed Jaddou'). It was held in the headquarters of the Military Court in Bethlehem. Representatives of the prosecution, Major Ibrahim Abu Saleh and First Lieutenant Akram 'Arar, and the defendant's lawyer, Khalil al-Heeh, were present in the trial.
The court convicted Daghamgha of treason in violation of article 131/A of the Palestinian Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979, and sentenced him in consensus to death, a sentence that needs the Palestinian President's approval and which can be appealed against. The bill of indictment presented against the defendant states that he started to collaborate with the Israeli intelligence service when he was working in a gas station in "Kfar Etzion" settlement, south of Bethlehem, in 1999. Since then, he had monitored stone throwers and students and provided information to the Israeli intelligence in exchange of little money. Later, he joined the Palestinian Naval Police in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) before he moved to the General Intelligence Service. He started to monitor Palestinian resistance cells and to provide information on them to the Israeli intelligence. Such information allowed the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to extra-judicially execute Jad 'Atallah Salem and Ahmed Is'haq Hamamda, members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement) on 8 March 2008. He also cooperated with IOF in arresting a number of Palestinians.
I'd point out that this "Military Court" is convened in Bethelem under the PA, not in Gaza under Hamas. And implementation of the sentence (under the law, anyway) requires the approval of moderate man of peace President Mahmoud Abbas.
So what will happen? Stay tuned.