Constitutional Provisions

The 2003 Basic Law of Palestine (as amended) does not explicitly protect the right to life. Article 13(1) stipulates that: "No person shall be subject to any duress or torture. Indictees and all persons deprived of their freedom shall receive proper treatment."  

Under Article 26(5), Palestinians have the right to "conduct private meetings without the presence of police members, and to conduct public meetings, gatherings and processions, within the limits of the law".

Article 84(1) of the Basic Law defines the responsibilities of the Palestinian Security Forces and Police, including their duty to respect human rights and freedoms. 

The Security Forces and the Police are regular forces. They are the armed forces in the country. Their functions are limited to defending the country, serving the people, protecting society and maintaining public order, security and public morals. They shall perform their duties within the limits prescribed by law, with complete respect for rights and freedoms. 

Treaty Adherence

Global Treaties

Adherence to Selected Human Rights Treaties
1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) State Party
ICCPR Optional Protocol 1 Not Party
1984 Convention against Torture (CAT) State Party
Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints No
CAT Optional Protocol 1 State Party
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties
1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court State Party

Regional Treaties

Adherence to Regional Human Rights Treaties
2004 Arab Charter of Human Rights State Party

National Legislation

Police Use of Force

There is no legal regulation of police use of force in Palestine. The European Union Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories (EU COPPS) is supporting "the Palestinian Authority in taking responsibility for law and order, and in particular, in improving its civil police and law enforcement capacity".

Use of Force in Custodial Settings

Procedures for the use of firearms in custodial settings are regulated in the Law of Correction and Rehabilitation Centers ("Prisons") No. 6 of 1998:

If a firearm is used to warn, scare or deter the escaping person, three warning shots shall be fired. If the escaping person does not comply, shots shall be fired at his/her legs with dues care to avoid serious injuries. Necessary first aid and treatment shall be provided to the injured.Art. 21, Law of Correction and Rehabilitation Centers ("Prisons") No. 6 of 1998.

Firearms may not be used in cases where the lives of others are exposed to danger.Art. 22, Law of Correction and Rehabilitation Centers ("Prisons") No. 6 of 1998.

Police Oversight

The Basic Law establishes the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) with the mandate to function as an ombudsman. It reports directly to the President. The ICHR addresses concerns related to the conduct of law enforcement. 



Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies

Palestine has not yet come before the Human Rights Committee or the Committee against Torture. It was provisionally due to come before the Committee against Torture in July 2021.


There is no regional court established under the 2004 Arab Charter of Human Rights.


2003 Basic Law of Palestine (as amended)

EU COPPS Charter

Law of Correction and Rehabilitation Centers (Prisons) No. 6 of 1998