Hamas authorities on Sunday executed five Palestinian Arabs, two of them for helping Israel, Gaza's Interior Ministry said, according to Fox News.
The dawn executions in Gaza were the first since 2017, Reuters reported. The five unidentified men were killed by either hanging or firing squad.
The ministry said two convicted spies, aged 44 and 54, assisted Israel by giving it information that resulted in the deaths of two Palestinian Arabs.
"This morning, the Ministry of Interior and National Security carried out death sentences against five convicts in security and criminal cases, two of them were convicted of collaborating with the occupation, and three others were convicted of murder on a criminal background," the ministry said, according to Fox News.
The ministry said the espionage charges dated back to 2015 and 2009, Reuters reported.
"The Ministry of Interior and National Security will continue to carry out its responsibilities and duty to enforce the law in order to maintain and protect security and community peace," it added.
Hamas regularly claims to have captured “Israeli spies”, and many times it tries them and sentences them to death.
In October of 2018, the group claimed to have exposed and arrested a Palestinian Arab who had worked as an intelligence agent for Israel for 15 years.
In March of that year, the group claimed 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 violent protest march along the Gaza-Israel border.
In 2019, Hamas reportedly uncovered an Israeli espionage attempt against one of the organization's commanders.
In October of 2021, Hamas sentenced six Palestinian Arab "informants" to death for collaborating with Israel.
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’ legitimacy, and has in the past emphatically declared that the death penalty in Gaza can be carried out without his consent.