Hamas sentences six Gazans to death for ‘spying for Israel’

The Islamist terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip announced Thursday that it had sentenced six Palestinian “informants” to death for “spying for Israel.”

Hamas’s military court said it had handed down sentences “against various informants, including six death sentences. [and] other sentences that vary between life imprisonment and temporary forced labor, and an acquittal. “

Hamas takes a rigid approach towards alleged Israeli collaborators. The Jewish state, along with Egypt, has blocked the enclave since the terror group took power in a bloody coup in 2007. Israel says the blockade is a necessary measure to limit the ability of Gaza terror groups to arm themselves. .

In 2018, a Hamas military court sentenced six people to death for espionage, including a woman.

The previous year, three convicted of the murder of a Hamas commander were hanged or shot in public by a firing squad.

Hamas promised on Thursday that collaborators who surrendered would face more lenient terms, saying that the “sentences issued have complied with all legal procedures. All those convicted received all legal protection. “

Illustrative: A gallows being prepared for an execution in Gaza, 2013 (AP / Gaza Interior Ministry)

Palestinian law requires the approval of the president of the Palestinian Authority for the death penalty, but Hamas in Gaza has carried out executions without the permission of Mahmoud Abbas.

The international community has repeatedly criticized Hamas’s use of the death penalty.

According to figures from the rights group B’Tselem and including new cases, some 13 death sentences have been handed down this year. At least one of the accused was tried in absentia.

Hamas has sentenced more than 130 people to death since 2007; in practice, he has executed 25 people, according to B’Tselem.

Human rights groups in Gaza have also urged Hamas to reduce the use of the death penalty. Earlier this month, the Gaza-based Al Mezan Human Rights Center called for a moratorium on the practice, saying it was “deeply concerned by the relentless issuance of death sentences by the military judiciary” in the enclave. .

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