PALESTINIAN MILITARY COURT SENTENCES CONVICTED COLLABORATOR WITH ISRAEL TO DEATH
|Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
April 28, 2008: the Hebron Military Court imposed the death penalty on a man convicted of collaborating with Israeli security, raising the possibility of the first such execution in seven years.
Military judges ruled that 25-year-old Emad Mahmoud Saâed, who worked for Palestinian security, provided information that helped Israeli forces kill four Palestinian militants.
A video recording shows the judges declaring the death sentence. Then Saad calmly asks for leniency, explaining he is the main breadwinner for his family. He does not deny the charges.
After the hearing, Samih Steidi, Hebron's Palestinian security commander, was pleased with the death sentence. "Let it be an example to those who sell their homeland and their people," he said.
He said Saad would be executed by a firing squad because of his military status.
However, death sentences imposed by Palestinian courts have often been commuted.
The last time a convicted collaborator was executed was in 2001. Palestinian judges last sentenced an accused collaborator to death in 2004, but the decree has not been carried out.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas must approve the death sentence. Abbas aide Nimr Hamad did not say what the president would do, but he said an execution would serve as deterrence.
He also complained about Israel's use of collaborators. "I don't think that peace with Israel should mean having to accept spies for Israel. Peace is one thing and spying is another," he said. "There is enough reason for such a penalty â that he caused the death of Palestinian citizens."
A leading Palestinian rights group, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, called on Abbas "not to sign this cruel and inhumane sentence." (Sources: Ap, 28/04/2008)