Palestinian Basic Law
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The Palestinian Basic Law

A collection of various propsals and amendments to the Basic Law of Palestine.

Committee urges cancellation of death sentences

A reconciliation committee of Palestinian factions urges Hamas to cancel the death sentences against three Palestinian. The Palestinians were sentenced in a Hamas military court. In a letter, the committee expresses concern that the sentences were related to the Hamas-Fatah rivalry and should be addressed through the conciliation committee appointed during Hamas Fatah talks in Cairo.

According to the Palestinian Basic Law, death sentences are to be approved by the president, but according to Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas’ tenure ended on 8 January 2009.

Read: Maan News, “Reconciliation committee urges Hamas to cancel death sentences”, 27 May 2009,

Read: Maan News, “De facto gov.: Executions pending approval by committee”, 25 May 2009,

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Facts about the Basic Law

The Palestinian Basic Law is to function as a temporary constitution for the Palestinian Authority until the establishment of an independent state and a permanent constitution for Palestine can be achieved.

The Basic Law was passed by the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1997 and ratified by President Yasser Arafat in 2002. It has subsequently been amended twice; in 2003 the political system was changed to introduce a prime minister. In 2005 it was amended to conform to the new Election Law. The 2003 reform was comprehensive and affected the whole nature of the Palestinian political system, whereas the 2005 amendment was only minor and affected only a few paragraphs.

A parallel effort has been made to draft a permanent Palestinian constitution for an independent state, but this was shelved in favor of amending the existing Basic Law.

About this site

This website presents a collection of various drafts and amendments related to the Basic Law and other constitutional texts that have been compiled from various other sources.

You can also expect to find links to news items and reports that are of relevance to Palestinian constitutional law, the electoral framework, political reform and the PA branches of government.

The website was created by the Norwegian journalists Erik Bolstad and Tonje M. Viken in February 2008. The site is a private initiative and has no affiliation to any organizations or authorities.

All external links are purely for information purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of this site.

Information and contact details.