The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, executed one of its members, Mahmoud Eshtitwi. A statement issued on the official website of Al Qassam Brigades stated that, "Al Qassam Brigades announce that at 16:00 on Sunday, 7 February 2016, the death penalty pronounced by the Brigades' military and Sharia courts against its member Mahmoud Eshtiwi, was carried out today for his behavioral and moral violations to which he had confessed.”
According to information available to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan), which was obtained from Eshtiwi’s family, the Al Qassam Brigades summoned Eshtiwi, 34, who was a member of Al Qassam Brigades in the Al Zaitoun neighborhood, on 21 January 2015. He was being detained since then.
Al Mezan considers, regardless of the reasons and motives behind Eshtiwi’s execution, his killing to be an extrajudicial execution that constitutes a violation of both international human rights law and the Palestinian Basic Law. Article (10) of the Palestinian Basic Law states that, “[b]asic human rights and liberties shall be protected and respected.” In addition, articles (11), (12), (13), (14), and (15) of the Basic Law dictate that arrests and investigations can only be carried out through the authority of judicial orders. Accused persons must be considered innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law that guarantees their right to proper defense. Furthermore, the execution of Eshtiwi violates penal procedures, as stipulated in the Palestinian Penal Procedures Law number (3) of 2001 that is applicable in Palestine.
Al Mezan expresses its grave concern by the extrajudicial execution. The rule of law must be respected, likewise the clear separation of powers, including the independence of the judiciary. Al Mezan calls upon the attorney general to initiate an investigation into the unlawful detention and execution of Mahmoud Eshtiwi.