Hamas Claims 'Collaborator' Campaign a Success
Hamas rulers in Gaza claimed success on Thursday in their month-long campaign to encourage alleged “collaborators” with Israel to turn themselves in as a means of being granted leniency.
"The campaign to combat espionage achieved a number of goals, and from this evening the deadline for Israeli collaborators to turn themselves in has ended," said interior ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan, according to AFP.
"Successes were achieved," he said, adding that the number of people now believed to be working on behalf of Israel was "low."
On March 12, the terrorist organization set a one-month ultimatum for alleged collaborators to turn themselves in as a means of being granted leniency.
"A number of agents turned themselves in," Shahwan said, without giving a number, adding only that they would be "dealt with" according to Palestinian law.
Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel is punishable by death.
All execution orders must be approved by the Palestinian Authority chairman before they can be carried out, but Hamas no longer recognizes the legitimacy of incumbent Mahmud Abbas, whose four-year term ended in 2009.
Following the recent November conflict, Hamas announced the creation of a committee to examine the "unlawful executions" of Arabs accused of spying for Israel.
Seven people were gunned down after being accused of collaborating with Israel.
The bodies of six were dragged behind vehicles through the streets of Gaza City.
Hamas terrorists from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for the killings.
Rights group, Human Rights Watch, criticized Hamas on Thursday for failing to investigate the killings as promised.
"Hamas's inability or unwillingness to investigate the brazen murders of seven men makes a mockery of its claims that it is upholding the rule of law in Gaza," HRW's Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said in a statement.