A spokesperson for the UN human rights office urged [press release] Gaza authorities to end the use of the death penalty on Wednesday. Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the office is “deeply concerned about recent statements made by the authorities in Gaza, including the Attorney General, of their intention to implement a number of death sentences, and fear that the first executions may be imminent.” The UN feels that Gaza’s standard in execution cases is lacking and are concerned of reports that these executions are to be held in public places.
Executions in Gaza have been an international concern previously. In August 2013 Human Rights Watch urged [JURIST report] authorities in Gaza to halt all executions, especially those of child offenders. Also in 2013, then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged [JURIST report] Hamas not to go through with the executions. The UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories [official website] called on Israel [statement] to end its blockade of the Gaza Strip in June 2013. Israel’s policy in the Gaza Strip has been a subject of controversy [JURIST report].