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Hamas has quickly denied this week's disclosure by the London-based Al-Hayat (reported yesterday by Palestinian Media Watch) that the Palestinian legislature has voted for an Islamic penal code that would include hand amputations, crucifixion, lashes and executions.
 
However, PMW has found that contrary to today's denials, official Hamas leaders have proudly announced in the Hamas-run media in the last two months that this Islamic penal code was being prepared, had "14 chapters and 220 clauses" and was nearly ready. Indeed, senior Hamas leaders went as far as to say that when these laws are implemented, they will have force not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank. And according to the Hamas Minister of Justice, the Palestinian laws will be similar to "Islamic states such as Sudan, Yemen, the [Arab] Emirates and Indonesia."
 
Examples of Hamas contradictions:
 
Today Hamas denied: "The [Legislative] Council did not discuss any article of the Penal Code." [Al Ayyam, Dec. 25, 2008]
 
A month ago the Hamas Minister of Justice confirmed: "This (Islamic law Penal) Code is being discussed at the sessions of the [Palestinian] Legislative Council, for a second reading." [Al Risala (Hamas news source), Nov. 12, 2008]
 
Today Hamas denied: "The Hamas movement... hastened to deny the reports about its approval of an Islamic Penal Code." [Al Ayyam, Dec. 25, 2008]
 
A month ago the Head of the Bureau of Islamic Law confirmed:
"The Bureau of Islamic Law is preparing a Penal Code in order to implement Shari'ah - Islamic law ... Muhammad Abed, Head of the Bureau of Islamic Law and legal advisor to the Prime Minister (Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas), said ... that the code includes 14 chapters and 220 clauses, and includes in its chapters the basis of the penal code." [Al-Risala, (Hamas) Nov. 9, 2008]
 
A month ago the Hamas Minister of Justice confirmed:
"Similar (Penal codes to the new Palestinian law) have already been implemented in a number of Arabic and Islamic states such as Sudan, Yemen, the [Arab] Emirates and Indonesia... by Allah's will it will be published soon."  
[Al Risala (Hamas news source), Nov. 12, 2008]
 
 
The following are the full texts of the contradictory Hamas statements, starting with the Hamas statements about the coming Islamic law in the Palestinian Authority and followed by today's Hamas denial.
 
Muhammad Faraj Al-Ghoul, Justice Minister in Hamas Government of Gaza:
"This (Islamic law Penal) code is being discussed at the sessions of the [Palestinian] Legislative Council, for a second reading [vote] ... and by Allah's will, the Council will approve [the code] in accordance with the general interest and the interest of the Palestinian People. The code is highly important, and it's not the first of its kind... similar codes have already been approved , and implemented in a number of Arabic and Islamic states such as Sudan, Yemen, the [Arab] Emirates and Indonesia... I believe that this code is highly important, and by Allah's will it will be published soon."    
[Al Risala (Hamas news source), Nov. 12, 2008]
 
Headline: The Bureau of Islamic Law is preparing a Penal Code in order to implement Shari'ah - Islamic law
 
In an attempt by the Bureau of the Islamic Law [Fatwa] to unite Palestine under one Penal Code, according to Islamic law (Shari'ah), the Bureau of Islamic Law [Fatwa] has prepared a [penal] code, with the intention to submit it to the [Palestinian] Legislative Council for its approval, and to cancel previous legislation that is based on the laws of the British mandate, and the neighboring countries.
Muhammad Abed, Head of the Bureau of Islamic Law and legal advisor to the Prime Minister (Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas), said ... that the code includes 14 chapters and 220 clauses, and includes in its chapters the basis of the penal code...
He said that in implementing this law, the present penal code in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank... will be cancelled... he said that the bill was submitted to the Legislative Council in 2001, but it was not approved in the second and third reading, and therefore some amendments were entered, according to the Islamic law, and it will be submitted to the Legislative Council for approval.
He emphasized that when the law is approved in the Legislative Council, it will be valid in all the Palestinian territories, and will be implemented in all of Palestine."   
[Al Risala (Hamas news source), Nov. 9, 2008.]
 
Public Relations advisor to the Presidency, Legislative Council:
Headline: "Hamas denies its approval of the penal law... The Hamas movement, which controls the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza, hastened to deny the news reports about its approval of an Islamic Penal Code that includes lashes, hand amputation and crucifixion. The public relations advisor to the Presidency of the Legislative Council, Iyad Al-Qarra, said that the council did not discuss any article of the Penal Code."   
[Al Ayyam, Dec. 25, 2008]


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