Israel’s minister of intelligence and communications has called for the death penalty to be enforced on convicted Palestinian prisoners. Yisrael Katz said on social media that Marwan Barghouti, for example, should have been given the death penalty instead of being sentenced to life imprisonment. The popular Fatah personality is currently leading a hunger strike to improve prisoners’ conditions in Israeli jails.
“Israeli military law authorises the use of the death penalty for terrorism,” explained Katz. His view is supported by several Israeli officials, including far-right Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman who has made the same call in recent years.
Military courts run by the Israelis administer their own form of justice across the occupied Palestinian territories, but only for Palestinians, including children; Jewish settlers are subject to Israeli law. The death penalty is available to the courts on condition that the judges — senior officers — agree on the verdict unanimously.
Some 1,500 Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike on Monday to demand improvements in their detention conditions.