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Hamas urges collaborators to hand themselves in

March 12, 2013 7:24 P.M. (Updated: March 14, 2013 2:58 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza has a list of collaborators who will be detained if they do not turn themselves in, a security official said Tuesday.

"Collaborators must contact dignitaries to help them turn themselves over to security services," said Muhammad Lafi, of the Internal Security Service.

Informers who give themselves up by April 11 will not be detained or sent to interrogation centers, Lafi told reporters in Gaza City.

The Ministry of Interior and the Social Affairs Ministry will allocate a monthly salary to the families of collaborators who surrender, he added.

"This campaign against collaborators isn't purely a security campaign, as it also has a social element. We do not discriminate between them according to their political affiliation, and we will provide them with information to make sure they can make right their mistakes and thus protect resistance fighters," Lafi said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan said the campaign aimed to "reinforce society" against Israeli enlistment efforts.

The ministry released the details of two Palestinians who were recruited by Israeli intelligence.

A man in his 20s posted his mobile number on an online singing website and was contacted the next day by a woman identifying herself as Haifa who claimed to be from northern Israel.

She told the man she was in love with him, sent him money and prepaid phone credit, and said she would connect him with a businessman who could improve his financial situation, according to the ministry.

The businessman turned out to be an Israeli intelligence officer who recruited the man as a collaborator.

The ministry said Gaza's Internal Security Service discovered the man was a collaborator and he later turned himself in.

"(The ISS in Gaza) treated me well and kept my story secret. I am free of worry now as the crime I committed against my people is now history," he said, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, 43-year-old Yousef was recruited by Israel as a collaborator in 1986 after Israeli intelligence officers bribed him using a photo of him having sex, the ministry said.

The Hamas government in Gaza announced its latest campaign to crack down on collaboration with Israel earlier in March.

Palestinian collaboration with Israel is an extremely sensitive issue in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with information passed to Israel's security services often being used to make arrests and assassinate political and militant figures.

Gaza courts have handed out 30 death sentences since 2007, many of them to people convicted of helping Israeli security forces.

The last high-profile execution of collaborators took place in Gaza during Israel's assault on the coastal territory last November.

Gunmen shot dead six alleged collaborators and chained the body of one of them to a motorcycle before dragging it throughout the main streets of Gaza City.

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, and were not caught "red-handed" as security officials had said at the time.
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