On April 25, Fiorello Provera from the European Parliament's EFD group and Vice Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee condemned the sentencing to death of former Palestinian intelligence official Muhammad Abu Shahala on the grounds of selling a house in the West Bank town of Hebron to Jewish residents.
Mr. Provera said: "The sentence of Mr. Abu Shahala should be overturned, and the European Union should add its full weight to securing his release, since its own Charter of Fundamental Rights includes an absolute ban on the death penalty. The Palestinian Authority is demonstrating a total disregard for basic human rights principles, even though it is one of the largest recipients of EU aid".
I expect the President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz to vigorously condemn this ruling with the same indignation expressed on behalf of the House in the case of Uladzislau Kavalyou, and I urge the Palestinian authority to introduce a moratorium on executions".
It is reported that Mr. Abu Shahala confessed following torture sessions at the hands of his captors. Under the framework of the Palestinian Authority's legal system, selling land to Jews is considered a capital offense. The death sentence will only be carried out once Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signs the death warrant. In response to Mr. Abu Shahala's sentencing, a number of Hebron residents have written a letter urging high-ranking officials such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take action.