Hamas executes two Gazans as spies for Israel

Islamist group finds father and son guilty of providing IDF with intel that helped track down Palestinians, including the movement's chief.

Hamas soldier 311 R (photo credit: Israel Picture Service/REUTERS)
Hamas soldier 311 R
(photo credit: Israel Picture Service/REUTERS)
GAZA - Gaza's Hamas government on Tuesday executed a Palestinian father and son convicted of spying for Israel in defiance of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who by law has final say in implementing such rulings.
Hamas officials said the men had confessed to providing the IDF with intelligence that helped them track down Palestinians including the group's chief Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi, who was killed in a 2004 air strike on his car.
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The convicts had lost a court appeal against their sentence.
Human rights groups have criticized Hamas executions, which are permitted under Palestinian law but require Abbas's approval.
The US-backed leader has withheld this, creating de facto moratorium on capital punishment in the West Bank, where his administration still holds sway.
Three Gazans were put to death by Hamas authorities this year and five in 2010, most for espionage and by firing squad.
After Tuesday's executions, relatives of the condemned burned tires in protest on a central Gaza street before being dispersed by police.