On Saturday, June 22, Hamas executed two Palestinian men convicted of providing information to Israel.
The executed men, ages 43 and 49, were not identified, but the Hamas-run Interior Ministry released photographs of the hanging. The Interior Ministry also released a statement declaring the suspected informants were guilty of having spied for Israel for over a decade.
According to The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and the Independent Commission on Human Rights, a total of 16 Palestinians have been executed in Gaza and 42 have been sentenced to death by the Hamas courts since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
The attorney general in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Jaber, announced that Hamas will continue to execute Palestinians convicted of “criminal offenses.” He said the move was designed to deter potential criminals and to discourage Palestinians from selling information about the whereabouts of top militants or sites of weapons manufacturing to Israel.
Not the first time
Hamas’ violent actions towards “suspected informants” have been well documented in the past. In April 2012, three Palestinian men, one convicted of collaborating with Israel, were hanged in a formal execution.
This past November, six men suspected of providing information to Israel were publicly dragged through the streets of Gaza and executed in front of a chanting mob. Witnesses said the suspected informants were taken to an intersection in northern Gaza, where they were shot for providing intelligence to Israel.
Earlier this year, Hamas declared a temporary amnesty for informants, assuring those who had provided information to Israel that by coming forward and admitting their actions they could protect themselves. However, the two recent executions show that Hamas has no intention of stopping such violence.