A Hamas military court in Gaza convicted three men of collaborating with Israel on Monday. One of them was sentenced to death, while the other two will serve prison terms, AFP reported.
The Hamas interior ministry said in a statement: "The military court handed down a death sentence against one collaborator with the occupation, and prison terms of seven years and three years for two other collaborators.” No additional details on the men were provided.
Although Palestinian Authority law states that the president must approve all execution orders before they can be carried out, PA President Mahmoud Abbas was not consulted, as Hamas no longer recognizes the legitimacy of his presidency.
This will not be the first execution of so-called collaborators. in April, Hamas executed two men on charges of working with Israel, in the first executions to be carried out since the Islamist movement violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Two years ago, during the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, at least eight people were murdered for allegedly helping Israel fight terrorism by providing information on local terrorist groups. The eight, who were prisoners in Gaza's main prison, escaped the building after it was bombed by the Israel Air Force. Following the airstrike, terrorists and relatives of terrorists killed by the IDF rushed to the prison and caught several of the escaping inmates, killing them on the spot.
This past September it was reported that Hamas was cracking down on collaborators with Israel, detaining many residents of the Gaza Strip, including two prominent physicians, a respected engineer, and even members of the terrorist group itself. Hamas refused to identify those who were arrested.
The Hamas campaign has created fear and suspicion, as locals said a few weeks ago that there is an atmosphere of distrust in the Strip. One man said that the campaign has had “a really bad impact on society.” People no longer trust each other, he said, “We don't talk openly with each other.”
According to Human Rights Watch, Hamas has killed at least 32 alleged informers and political opponents during and after Operation Cast Lead and maimed dozens of others.