Hamas sentences two to death for ‘collaborating with Israel’

The last time Hamas carried out the death penalty was in 2017. 

By World Israel News staff.

Two men have been sentenced to death by Hamas on charges of collaborating with Israel. The sentences bring the total number of Palestinians sentenced to death in the Gaza Strip this year to five.

According to Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Tomeah, the men were from Khan Yunis and Rafah in the Gaza strip, and have been sentenced to death by hanging. No further details on the men or the evidence for their crimes were forthcoming.

Under Palestinian law, a death sentence can only be carried out with the express permission of the President of the Palestinian Authority. However, since breaking away from the PA and annexing Gaza, Hamas has not followed this protocol.

According to The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, a total of 130 people have been handed death sentences in courts in Gaza since 2007, of which 25 have had their sentences carried out. A further 14 have been summarily executed by Hamas’ military wing during that time.

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The last time Hamas carried out a death sentence was in 2017, when three prisoners were executed.

The sentence comes as a man was sentenced to 15 years hard labor by a Palestinian court in Bethlehem for the crime of attempting to sell land to Jewish Israelis, a statute which also carries a potential death penalty sentence.

However, while the PLO-led Palestinian Authority also retains the death penalty in the West Bank, handing out the sentence to eight people since the split with Hamas in Gaza, the last time it carried out an execution was in 2005.

Selling land to Jews is considered a major taboo in Palestinian society, with both politicians and religious leaders alike condemning the practice utterly.

So much so that in April this year, according to Palestinian Media Watch, a regular columnist for the Palestinian Authority’s daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida wrote an article suggesting that a “blacklist” of all Palestinians who sell land to Jews should be drawn up and distributed throughout society, including among children’s nurseries, so that those people – dubbed “traitors and collaborators” can be ostracized.

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He also repeated the fatwa against burying such people with a Muslim burial after they die, and suggested that school children be taught how to pursue the “treacherous spies”.

Betraying the homeland is a curse that will pursue the one who commits ‎it to the end of his days, in this world and the next. It cannot be swallowed, ‎justified, or covered up – whoever becomes entangled in [treason] is a ‎criminal, heretic, and is cursed until judgment day,” the columnist Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul wrote.