Palestinians Consider Death Penalty for Those Who Cooperated with Israel

Some Palestinians who collaborated with Israel’s Shin Bet security services may be put to death, according to Freih Abu Medein, the newly named justice minister of the Palestinian governing council.

According to Medein, the death penalty may apply to those collaborators whose activities led directly or indirectly to the death of other Palestinians.

But Medein also said the Palestinian authorities may decide to pardon those who turn themselves in and pledge to abandon their work with the Shin Bet.

Last week, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said Israel might hold up the release of Palestinian prisoners if the Palestinian authorities decide to prosecute individuals suspected of collaborating with Israel.

Two collaborators, meanwhile, in an address to the Knesset last week, accused the Shin Bet of failing to honor its promises of financial assistance, forcing them into extreme financial difficulties.

They said there are some 7,000 collaborators holding documentation from Israeli authorities attesting to their status.

They also complained that under the terms of the Cairo agreement for implementing Palestinian self-rule, Israel is now freeing Palestinians imprisoned for hunting down suspected collaborators.

Palestinian security officials recently announced they would not tolerate individual vendettas against suspected collaborators.

Since the Palestinian uprising began in December 1987, an estimated 800 to 1,000 Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel have been killed by fellow Palestinians.

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