Hamas hangs 2 Gazans convicted as Israeli spies

Men allegedly passed intel that led to deaths of Palestinians; Hamas says executions are "in accordance with our religion."

June 22, 2013 17:35
2 minute read.

Hanging 370. (photo credit: Morteza Nikoubazi/Reuters)

Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip on Saturday executed two Palestinians who had been convicted of “collaboration” with Israel.

The Hamas-run minister of interior said that the two men, who were not identified by name, were executed by hanging after a “military court” in the Gaza Strip found them guilty of “collaboration with Israeli occupation.”

A statement released by the ministry said that the executions were carried out “in accordance with our religion and the Palestinian law.”

The statement said that the two men had been convicted with “collaboration with a foreign hostile force, killing and espionage.”

The executions were carried out in the presence of senior Hamas officials, lawyers, security officers and community leaders and representatives, the statement added.

Hamas accused the two men of passing on information to Israel about the location of houses, civilian and security installations, as well as “industrial workshops” used to manufacture rockets.

Hamas claimed that the information was later used by Israel to kill civilians and “resistance fighters.”

It said the two men had been recruited as Israeli informants about 10 years ago.

One of the men confessed to tipping off Israel about the whereabouts about a Hamas police patrol in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, according to Hamas. An Israeli air strike later killed one of the policemen, Hamas added.

Hamas said the man was recruited as an informant after he had applied for a permit to enter Israel together with his ill mother, who required medical treatment.

The second man, according to Hamas, agreed to serve as an informant in return for a permit to work in Israel. He was accused of providing Israel with information that led to an Israeli military attack on a school and mosque during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.

Hamas claimed the man had also convinced his wife to serve as an informant.

The attorney-general in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Jaber, announced that the Hamas government would soon execute Palestinians convicted of “criminal offenses.”

He said the move was designed to deter potential criminals.

Jaber dismissed criticism that the executions were being carried out in violation of Palestinian law because they had not been approved by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“There is no real president of the Palestinian Authority,” Jaber said. “There is only a nominal president. The Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip is the legitimate government and it seeks to look after the people’s security.”

Sixteen Palestinians have been executed in Gaza for spying since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

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