Hamas executes two for ‘collaboration’ with Israel

1. Gaza
(File Photo: Jordan News)

GAZA, Palestinian Territories — Hamas announced on Sunday that it executed five people, including two for “collaboration” with Israel.اضافة اعلان

The executions for collaboration are the first carried out in the Palestinian coastal enclave for more than five years.

“On Sunday morning, the death sentence was carried out against two condemned over collaboration with the occupation (Israel), and three others in criminal cases,” Hamas said in a statement.

It added that the defendants had previously been given “their full rights to defend themselves”.

Gaza’s interior ministry provided the initials and years of birth of the five executed Palestinians but withheld their full names.

The two executed over “collaboration” with Israel were men born in 1978 and 1968.

The older of the two was a resident of Khan Yunis in the south of the blockaded Gaza Strip. He was convicted of supplying Israel in 1991 with “information on men of the resistance, their residence, ... and the location of rocket launch pads”, Hamas said.

The second was condemned to death for supplying Israel in 2001 with intelligence “that led to the targeting and martyrdom of citizens” by Israeli occupation forces, the statement added.

The three others executed had been convicted of murder, the statement said.

Sven Kuehn Von Burgsdorff, the EU’s ambassador to the Palestinian territories, expressed concern over the executions.

“Hamas must respect Palestine’s obligations under international human rights law,” he said, noting the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority’s “moratorium on capital punishment”.

“Executions are cruel and inhuman and can under no circumstances be justified as they deny the victims human dignity,” he said in a statement.

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch, described the executions as “abhorrent”.

First executions in years

Gaza’s Palestinian Center for Human Rights said the executions were “in violation of Palestine’s international obligations”.

The center said it “demands the authorities in the Gaza Strip do not use the death penalty, and replace it with life imprisonment with hard labor”.

Hamas has in recent years sentenced numerous people to death for collaboration with Israel, but the executions announced Sunday are the first carried out since May 2017.

While Hamas keeps the death penalty on the statute books, Palestinian officials in the occupied West Bank have not carried out such a sentence in recent years.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signed up to the UN treaty opposing the death penalty.

Abbas’s Fatah movement and Hamas have been divided since 2007, following the outbreak of fighting between the Palestinian factions.

The Palestinian Authority operates in the West Bank, home to nearly 3 million Palestinians who live alongside 475,000 Israeli settlers. The international community considers Israeli settlements to be illegal under international law.

Hamas, meanwhile, rules over 2.3 million Palestinians who have lived under a crippling Israeli-led blockade for 15 years.

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