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Hamas grants amnesty to collaborators, official says

Dec. 2, 2012 6:17 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 4, 2012 12:42 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza's ministry of interior will pardon collaborators who turn themselves into authorities, a Hamas official said Sunday.

Interior minister Fathi Hammad, speaking at a graduation ceremony for Hamas security officers, said that anyone who confesses to collaborating with Israel will be pardoned and the details of their crimes kept secret from family and friends.

They will then be trained as resistance fighters, Hammad added.

Once the amnesty period is over, anyone found guilty of collaborating with Israel will be tried and sentenced, the minister said, adding that Hamas is trying to secure the home-front and prevent Israel from obtaining intelligence about Gaza.

Seven Palestinians accused of spying for Israel were publicly executed during the latest assault on Gaza.

Masked gunmen shot the alleged collaborators in two public attacks, killing one person on Nov. 16 and another six people on Nov. 20.

At the time, Hamas security officials said one man had confessed to aiding Israel while the six others "were caught red-handed" and "possessed hi-tech equipment and filming equipment to take footage of positions."

A Ma'an review of publicly available records as well as interviews with experts in Gaza showed that all of the men had been in the custody of the Hamas government for months and in one case years before Israel launched its "Pillar of Cloud" operation.

Taher al-Nunu, a spokesman for the Hamas government, promised a full investigation into the killings, which he described as unlawful, while senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahhar dismissed criticism from Palestinian human rights groups.

Deputy chief of Hamas Mousa Abu Marzouq said the killings were "not acceptable at all," and demanded that those responsible be held accountable.
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