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Israeli minister urges Palestinians to call off resumption of executions

[JURIST] An Israeli cabinet minister has called for the Palestinian Authority to reverse a decision publicized Thursday [BBC report] to reintroduce capital punishment and to immediately stay the scheduled execution of accused collaborators with Israel [PCHR news release on two death sentences handed down December 2004]. The call by Natan Sharansky [Knesset profile], Israel's minister for Jerusalem and diaspora affairs, came in a letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appealing for him to intercede with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. Several executions are due to be carried out by the end of March; human rights groups say that Palestinian courts have sentenced 68 offenders to death since 1994 [Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group list], but only nine had actually been executed, the last in 2002. Since the outbreak of the intifada in 2001, militants have assassinated dozens of suspected collaborators without trial. AFP has more. The Jerusalem Post provides local coverage. Palestinian Report provides background on the Palestinian death penalty debate.

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