The Freedom Center for Research and Public Opinion Surveys has found that an overwhelming majority of 85% of Arabs in Gaza favors the death sentence for Arab collaborators with Israel.
Specifically, the Hamas government in Gaza has put to death, and intends to continue doing so, Arabs who have been found to have collaborated with Israel or worked with Fatah and have been convicted of espionage.
A full 85.6% of the Gazan Arabs polled believe it is a good idea, and only 14.4% oppose. In the Rafah region, 90% supported the idea, and in Khan Yunis – adjacent to the former site of Gush Katif capital N'vei Dekalim – it was 87%.
Several dozen are already assumed to have been killed in recent months - including some executions carried out in the Rafiah area in what used to be the Jewish community of Rafiah Yam.
Hamas has long been no stranger to putting to death its own countrymen. During Israel's Operation Cast Lead 15 months ago, dozens of Fatah activists were executed – some by being thrown out of tenth-floor windows – and dozens more were shot and wounded. It was claimed that they had spirited out information enabling Israel to target and attack Hamas's headquarters and bomb-making facilities.
The Chief of Hamas Police in Gaza made a typical announcement earlier this week, saying that the police "have the situation under control," and that they had succeeded in revealing and arresting "hostile elements" that had been involved in placing bombs in public places.
The Hamas government, at the same time, continues to implement Islamic law throughout the Gaza Strip. In one of the latest such cases, chemical tests have been carried out by the police, finance ministry and Al-Azhar University on a fruit drink to determine whether, as accused, it contained alcohol.