For the first time in five years, the armed Islamist movement Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip, executed five Palestinians this Sunday (4) – two of them for allegedly maintaining “collaboration” with Israel.
“On Sunday morning, the death penalty sentence was carried out against two convicted of collaborating with the occupation. [Israel] and another three for criminal cases”, announced Hamas in a statement, in which it assured that the five “previously had the full right to defend themselves” before the local courts.
The Interior Ministry of the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory of 2.3 million people under Hamas control since 2007, revealed the year of birth and other details of each case, but not the identity of those executed.
The two convicted of “collaboration” with Israel are two men born in 1968 and 1978.
The older of the two is a resident of Khan Younis (south) who was “hanged”. He was convicted by the local courts for providing Israel, since 1991, with “information about members of the resistance, their places of residence” and “the location of rocket manufacturing and launch sites”, Hamas said.
The second was “shot” for providing information to Israel since 2001, which led to the “attack and martyrdom of citizens” by Israeli forces, Hamas added. The other three people executed had previous convictions for murder, the Hamas Interior Ministry said in a statement.
In recent years, the authorities in Gaza have sentenced several people to death for various crimes or for “collaboration” with the State of Israel, although these death sentences have not been carried out. The last known executions date from 2017.
Three Palestinians — Ashraf Abu Leila, Hisham al Alul and Abdallah al Nashar — were publicly executed after being sentenced in a quick trial before the local military justice, for having participated in the assassination of a Hamas commander, Mazen Faqha, “by Israeli forces.” “.
As this Sunday, in the case of the two executed for “collaboration” with Israel, Hamas justified the 2017 executions under the revolutionary code of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization).
Hamas, however, is not part of the PLO, whose revolutionary code is outdated on the issue of capital punishment in relation to the Palestinian Basic Law of 2003. The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmud Abas, also acceded in 2019 to the UN treaty that seeks to abolish the death penalty.
Since the Islamists of Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007 through arms, to the detriment of the moderates of Mahmud Abas’ Fatah party, the Palestinian territories have been deeply divided politically.
Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has no control over the Gaza Strip, a sparse Palestinian territory dominated by Hamas and under strict Israeli blockade for 15 years.