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New Arms Decree in Palestine Divides Violators into Two Categories

The Palestine Government today published in the official gazette a new decree differentiating between persons carrying firearms illegally for “political” reasons and those doing so for “non-political” reasons.

The decree provides that the military prosecutor and the police are to decide jointly into which category the offender shall be placed. The military court retains, under the new decree, the authority to impose death sentences for “political” arms offenses. The civil courts, dealing with “non-political” violators of the arms law, are authorized by the new decree to increase the sentence for illegal possession of arms from the present maximum of two years to a maximum of ten years imprisonment.