Three Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have been sentenced to death by a Hamas court on charges of collaboration with Israel. A fourth man received life in prison for the same charges.
The sentences were confirmed on Tuesday when the court turned down appeals by the defendants. It was not clear when the men would be executed. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has in the past executed several Palestinians on similar charges.
Palestinian human rights groups have previously criticized Hamas for issuing death sentences against Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority has also criticized Hamas for issuing and carrying out death sentences, saying such verdicts require the approval of the PA president.
The names of the three men who were sentenced to death were not revealed.
They were found guilty of “communicating with hostile foreign entities” in violation of Article 131 of the Palestinian Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979.
Two of the defendants will be executed by hanging, while the third will face a firing squad.
Who are the Palestinians sentenced to death, life in prison?
The first man, a 67-year-old resident of the Gaza Strip, was detained by Hamas in 2011. He was allegedly recruited by Israeli security authorities in 1997 while traveling through the Erez border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The man allegedly agreed to work with the Israeli authorities in return for a permit to work in Israel. As a result of his actions, some Palestinians were targeted and killed by Israel, according to the charge sheet.
The second man, a 44-year-old resident of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, was arrested by Hamas in 2018. He was accused of having served as an informant for Israel since 2000 and providing information about gunmen, tunnels and weapons. According to the charge sheet, the defendant, who worked as a car dealer, sold vehicles with eavesdropping devices to Palestinian gunmen in the Strip.
The third man, a 36-year-old also from Khan Yunis, was accused of having worked for Israeli security authorities since 2011. He was accused of providing “security and military information” during the wars between Israel and the Gaza Strip in 2012 and 2014.
A fourth man, a 70-year-old who also lives in Khan Yunis and was arrested in 2017, was sentenced to life in prison with hard labor for allegedly working with Israel since 2001. He allegedly also agreed to collaborate with Israel in return for a work permit.