Hamas claimed on Wednesday that it had arrested a local man who had been working as a “spy” for Israel and who intended to convince Gazans not to take part in a march to the border with Israel scheduled for Friday.
According to the organization, the man who was arrested is a 37-year-old resident of Gaza who was allegedly in contact with an Israeli intelligence officer.
Palestinian Authority media reported that the detainee was allegedly instructed to spread rumors about the harsh measures the IDF intends to take against Gazans who will try to approach the border fence during Friday’s march, dubbed “the march of the return”.
According to the reports, the suspect who has been handed over to Hamas had previously worked for Israeli intelligence and collected information about the Palestinian Arab terrorist organizations.
Hamas has made intensive preparations for the “march of the return” in recent days, though its leaders have claimed there are no plans to resort to violence during the march.
Hamas regularly claims to have captured “Israeli spies”, and many times it tries them and sentences them to death.
In theory all execution orders in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) territories must be approved by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in Ramallah and who imposed a moratorium on executions several years ago.
Hamas no longer recognizes Abbas’s legitimacy, and has in the past emphatically declared that the death penalty in Gaza can be carried out without his consent.
Last April, the group hanged three men accused of collaborating with Israel in the killing of senior Hamas commander Mazen Faqha.