Hamas Reuters

A military court in Hamas-controlled Gaza on Sunday sentenced three Palestinian Arab men to death for "collaborating" with Israel, the interior ministry said, according to AFP.

The three, who were sentenced to be hanged, can appeal the sentence, according to a statement from the ministry.

The court noted that three other death sentences against locals convicted of "treason" and providing information to "hostile third parties", an allusion to Israel, had been "finalized", meaning they could no longer appeal.

Another eight sentences ranging from two years in prison to life were handed down on Sunday, also for "collaborating" with Israel.

Hamas regularly claims to have captured “Israeli spies”, and many times it tries them and sentences them to death.

In one such example, the group claimed to have exposed “the most dangerous intelligence agent” who allegedly worked for the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

Under Palestinian Arab law, collaboration with Israel is punishable by death. All death sentences, however, require the approval of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who issued a moratorium on death sentences in 2005.

Hamas ignores the moratorium and carries out the executions anyway, as it no longer recognizes the legitimacy of Abbas, whose four-year term expired in 2009.

Before Sunday's sentences, four death sentences had already been handed down by Gaza courts to Gazans this year, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), which condemned what it called "excessive application of this punishment in Gaza in light of absence of fair trial guarantees".

Amnesty International has in the past called on Hamas to stop the executions of suspected collaborators, saying that the group “must immediately and totally cease its use of the death penalty.”