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18 executed in Gaza for 'collaborating' with Israel

Aug. 22, 2014 11:50 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 23, 2014 11:15 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Eighteen suspected collaborators were killed by Hamas on Friday as the group announced a crackdown on Palestinians alleged to be working with Israel.

Seven men were shot dead in front of a mosque by men in Hamas military uniforms after Friday prayers, witnesses said.

The Hamas-affiliated al-Majd website said they were killed after legal procedures were completed against them. Suspects accused of collaboration are taken to "revolutionary military trials" presided over by security and legal experts, the site added.

Earlier, eleven Palestinians were killed by Hamas for allegedly collaborating with Israel.

A Ma'an reporter said two bodies were found near the al-Azhar University in Gaza City while several others were taken to al-Shifa medical center.

The 11 suspected collaborators were killed at a Gaza police station and had been sentenced by local courts, The Associated Press reported.

A day earlier, Hamas executed three alleged collaborators with Israel and arrested seven others.

It is believed the executions and arrests took place following the assassination of three senior Hamas military commanders at dawn on Tuesday.

Information passed to Israel's security services by Palestinian collaborators is often being used to make arrests and assassinate high-profile political and militant figures.

Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel is punishable by death.

However all execution orders must be approved by the president before they can be carried out. Hamas no longer recognizes the legitimacy of incumbent Mahmoud Abbas, whose four-year term ended in 2009.

UN rights chief Navi Pillay last year described the judicial process for death sentences in Gaza as "deeply flawed."

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