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PA slams Hamas executions of alleged collaborators

Aug. 23, 2014 2:00 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 24, 2014 11:07 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority on Saturday blasted Hamas officials for executing more than 20 alleged collaborators with Israel on Thursday and Friday, stressing the lack of judicial oversight and transparency.

Secretary-General of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office al-Tayyib Abd al-Rahim said that the executions had been conducted illegally outside of the Palestinian court system and could thus not be considered to have gone through fair process.

"The executions were done in cold blood and according to Hamas law, which is: who is not with Hamas is against it," he added.

Abd al-Rahim called the killings "random executions of those who Hamas called collaborators," adding that some of those killed had been detained for more than three years before their recent executions.

Abd al-Rahim also accused Hamas of having punished political dissidents within Gaza previously during the recent Israeli assault, claiming that the group "shot at the feet" of "many of those" who called upon the movement to accept a ceasefire and had placed "many" others under house arrest.

"It is enough for our great people in the Gaza Strip that they suffer from the Israeli siege and offensive," Abd al-Rahim added.

He also said that the executions are "rejected and condemned" by the Palestinian people, adding that they were reminiscent of the summary executions carried out by Wahhabi militant groups in other parts of the Middle East.

Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel is punishable by death. All death sentences, however, require President Mahmoud Abbas' approval before being carried out, and Abbas issued a moratorium on death sentences in 2005.

Until the formation of a unity government in April, however, Hamas carried out executions under its own authority because it did not recognize Abbas as president, arguing that his term expired in 2009.

Abd al-Rahim called Hamas' actions "provocative" in light of the national reconciliation agreement, saying that they show that Hamas acts as an "authority" unto itself and "is not sincere in reconciliation and its commitments towards the unity government" of the Palestinian Authority.

He added that Hamas had suggested that "these executions were done legitimately and claimed that all Gaza factions were aware of them executions when they were not."

Abd al-Rahim called upon legal and human rights institutions in Palestine "and especially in the Gaza Strip" to condemn these acts that "offend" the Palestinian people and to oppose them in order to "preserve social and national unity."
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