Hamas sentences 2 drug dealers to death

A Hamas military court sentenced two drug dealers to death as a deterrent against the Gaza drug epidemic. 

A Hamas military court sentenced two Palestinians to death for drug dealing, a first since the terror group seized the Gaza Strip a decade ago.

The Interior Ministry stated Sunday one prisoner will be executed by firing squad. The other defendant was sentenced in absentia.

The ministry said security forces seized $2 million in illicit drugs in January alone, equivalent to the amount seized in all of 2016. Most of the confiscated drugs were narcotics and cannabis.

Hamas implements capital punishment mostly against convicted murderers or alleged collaborators with Israel. These verdicts were the first against drug dealers.

The defendants previously had lighter sentences, but the ministry says the dealers “were not deterred.” The Interior Ministry alleged there is a “plan” to “drown” Gaza in drugs.

These harsh sentences were issued following Hamas’ failed campaign to stem a national addiction epidemic. The addiction to painkillers is a real issue. Recently, some 400,000 Tramadol pills were seized in the Strip. Tramadol is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain.

Hamas, an Islamic terror group which violently seized power in Gaza in 2007, has repeatedly been condemned for multiple human rights violations. Human rights groups have called on Hamas to place a moratorium on the death penalty in Gaza, saying these verdicts do not serve justice and the rule of law.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff