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Gaza court sentences to death 5 alleged collaborators with Israel

April 18, 2016 6:15 P.M. (Updated: April 19, 2016 9:47 A.M.)
(AFP/Said Khatib, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A military court in the Gaza Strip on Monday sentenced five Palestinians to death after they were found guilty of collaborating with Israel.

A source in the blockaded territory's Hamas-run judiciary system told Ma’an that three of those convicted were from Gaza City, aged 31, 38, and 41, without providing their names. All three were sentenced to death by firing squad.

The source said that a 52-year-old resident of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and 31-year-old from Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, meanwhile, were sentenced to death by hanging.

A sixth individual was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was also found guilty of collaborating with Israel.

Gaza's Hamas-led government has issued at least 10 death sentences so far this year, in a practice condemned by the European Union earlier this month, which called on Hamas to "comply with the moratorium on executions put in place by the Palestinian Authority, pending abolition of the death penalty in line with the global trend."

Under Palestinian law, wilful, premeditated murder and treason, as well as collaboration with the enemy, usually Israel, are punishable by death with the approval of the Palestinian president.

However, Hamas broke from the Palestinian Authority in 2007, rejecting the legitimacy of President Mahmoud Abbas, and the movement has not sought his consent on cases of capital punishment.

Some 178 death sentences have been issued in Palestinian territory since 1994, 148 of them in the Gaza Strip, of which 90 were issued since 2007, when Hamas took over power there.

Rights groups have criticized Palestinian authorities in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip for implementing capital punishment without due process.
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