Hamas has started arresting dozens of Palestinian “collaborators” with Israel who failed to heed the Islamist movement’s appeal to them to “repent.”
Two months ago, Hamas issued an ultimatum to suspected collaborators in the Gaza Strip: Surrender by July 10, or face the death penalty.
The ultimatum was issued in the context of a Hamas-sponsored drive called The National Campaign to Combat Collaborators with the Enemy.
Hamas claims that the campaign has resulted in the surrender of scores of suspected collaborators, some of whom are alleged to have made significant confessions.
Anwar al-Barawi, who is in charge of the campaign, said that the Hamas security forces have never stopped chasing those who serve as Israeli informants.
He claimed that Hamas would protect those collaborators who voluntarily handed themselves over to its security forces in the Gaza Strip.
“Those who handed themselves over will face fair trials,” Barawi pledged. “They will have to bear the consequences of their actions against the fighters of the Palestinian people.”
In April, Hamas executed two Palestinian men on the pretext that they
had passed on information to Israel that was later used to kill gunmen
in the Gaza Strip.
Human rights activists who have condemned the executions also expressed
fear that Hamas was planning to use the campaign to settle scores
against its political enemies.
According to the activists, Hamas has also arrested several Fatah men on suspicion of helping Israel during Operation Cast Lead.
Hamas said earlier this week that when its ultimatum expires, it will
launch an all-out war against alleged informants throughout the Gaza
“We won’t have any mercy on the traitors,” said a senior official in
the Hamas-run Ministry of Interior, which oversees the work of the
security forces in the Gaza Strip.
“We gave them a chance to repent. Those who seized the opportunity did
the right thing; those who failed to do so will be dealt with