Hamas hangs two ‘Israeli collaborators’ in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Gaza’s Hamas rulers on Tuesday hanged two Palestinians who were convicted of “collaborating” with Israel, an interior ministry statement said.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 26 Jul 2011, 7:56 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:13 AM

It was the second time this year that the Islamist movement had carried out an execution of someone accused of “collaborating” with the Israelis.

“The sentence was carried out after all appeals were exhausted,” the ministry said.

“The execution came after the government approved the decision to implement the penalty imposed on agents who collaborate with the Israeli occupation.”

The Hamas-run interior ministry identified the two men only as M.A.Q. and R.A.Q.

“The Gaza Court of First Instance sentenced the defendants on November 29, 2004 to death by hanging and the Court of Cassation rejected their appeal and upheld the sentence on July 14, 2011,” the ministry said.

The statement said the charges against them included murder, attempted murder and “communicating with hostile foreign security elements to the detriment of national interests” and “weakening morale and the strength of the resistance.”

In May, a man referred to as A.S. was executed by firing squad after being convicted of alleged collaboration a month earlier.

Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel, murder, and drug trafficking are all punishable by death.

By law, all execution orders must be approved by the Palestinian president before they can be carried out, but Hamas no longer recognises the legitimacy of Mahmud Abbas, whose four-year term ended in 2009.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemned the executions saying there was no legal justification for the failure to seek Abbas’s ratification of the sentences against the men.

“The implementation of any death sentences without the president’s ratification constitutes a violation of the law and constitution,” the Gaza-based rights group said in a statement after the execution.

“PCHR stresses that the ratification of such sentences is necessary especially following signing the Palestinian reconciliation agreement in May 2011.”

The group said the two men were hanged early on Tuesday morning, and gave their ages as 60 and 29.

In recent months, Hamas has arrested several alleged collaborators, and warned it would prosecute any “traitor” working for the Jewish state.

In March, a Gaza military court condemned a man to death and sentenced another to 15 years of forced labour for collaborating with Israel. Both judgements are subject to appeal.

In April 2010, Gaza’s Hamas rulers carried out a death sentence against two Palestinians accused of collaboration in the first such execution since the Islamists seized power in 2007.

A month later, three more people were executed on charges unrelated to collaboration, human rights groups say.

Israeli security forces routinely use Palestinian informers to thwart militant attacks and assist in the assassination of top militants.

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