Statistics on the death penalty in the Palestinian Authority and under Hamas control in Gaza

Statistics on the death penalty in the Palestinian Authority and under Hamas control in Gaza

Published: 
1 Jan 2011
Updated: 
7 Aug 2017
Year Number of death sentences by PA Courts Number of executions by PA Number of death sentences by Hamas courts in Gaza Number of executions by the Hamas government
Summary executions by Hamas Military wing Comments
1995 2 not applicable not applicable not applicable One was released from prison, and one was executed in 2005.
1996 6 not applicable not applicable not applicable Two sentences were commuted to a life sentence of hard labor. Two were executed in 2005 and one was executed by the Hamas government in 2010.
1997 not applicable not applicable not applicable  
1998 4 2 not applicable not applicable not applicable Two were executed in 1998. One was released from prison during an Israeli incursion into the city.
1999 4 1 not applicable not applicable not applicable One was released from prison, and one was executed in 1999.
2000 6 1 not applicable not applicable not applicable One was executed in 2000 and one in 2005. One was released from prison during an Israeli incursion into the city and another was released when the second intifada broke out. The whereabouts of the two others is unknown.
2001 13 1 not applicable not applicable not applicable One was executed in 2001 and one in 2005. Four were murdered while in PA custody. Five escaped from prison during an Israeli incursion into the city. One was released and then died in an accident.
2002 16 3 not applicable not applicable not applicable Three were executed in 2002. Four were murdered while in PA custody. One escaped from prison. Two others - having fled from the prison when it was bombed during Operation Cast Lead (December 2008-January 2009) - were murdered by the military branch of Hamas. 
2003 2 not applicable not applicable not applicable
2004 10 not applicable not applicable not applicable One was executed in 2010. Two were executed by the Hamas government in 2011. 
2005 1 5 not applicable not applicable not applicable  
2006 not applicable not applicable not applicable  
2007  
2008 5 2 1 One was murdered by the military branch of Hamas after escaping from prison during Operation Cast Lead (December 2008-January 2009).
2009 1 3 2 Two were executed by the Hamas government in 2010 and one was executed by the Hamas government in 2011.
2010 16 5 One was executed by the Hamas government in 2010. Five, including one Israeli citizen, were tried in absentia. Three were executed by the Hamas government in 2012. One was executed by the Hamas government in 2014. 
2011 1 10 3 2 One was tried in absentia.  Three were executed by the Hamas government in 2012. Two were executed by the military branch of Hamas during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.
2012 5 6 3 One was tried in absentia. One was executed by the Hamas government in 2013. Three were executed by the military branch of Hamas during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.
2013 16 3 6 One was tried in absentia. Two were executed by the Hamas government in 2013. One was executed by the Hamas government in 2014. Two were executed by the Hamas government in 2016. Six were executed by the military branch of Hamas during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. The whereabouts of one is unknown.
2014 5 2 One was executed by the Hamas government in 2016.
2015 1 5 1 One was executed by the Hamas government in 2017. One escaped from prison. The whereabouts of one is unknown. One sentence was commuted to life in prison. 
2016 16 2 Three were tried in absentia
2017 13 One was tried in absentia. Three were executed by the Hamas government in 2017.  
Total 72 13 91 25 14
  • 3 death sentences were commuted to prison sentences.
  • 8 were murdered while in PA custody.
  • 11 were released from prison or escaped.
  • 8 are missing.
  • 15 Palestinians who had not been sentenced to death were killed by the military branch of Hamas during Operation Cast Lead (December 2008-January 2009). B’Tselem has only incomplete information about them. For more, click here.
  • One Palestinian who was not sentenced to death was summarily executed by the military branch of Hamas during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. 
  • 15 Palestinians who had not been sentenced to death were killed by the military branch of Hamas during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. 


* Data up to 31 July  2017. Sources: The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), The Independent Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) and B’Tselem.

** Following a reclassification of the data, figures differ from previous reports.