Ramallah – Hamas on Thursday executed three men it accused of collaborating with the Israeli authorities, few days after launching “redemption week”, during which the movement asked Israeli “agents” to turn themselves in or face punishment.
The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said in a statement that the three men have been executed in Gaza.
The Palestinians – aged 32, 42 and 55 – were hanged after being convicted by a court of treason and conspiring with foreign parties, the statement added.
On Tuesday, Hamas announced it would offer a “week of redemption” for collaborators with Israel to avoid arrest and punishment, within a campaign to avenge last month’s assassination of Mazen Faqha, a senior official in Ezzeddine al-Qassam Brigade, Hamas’ military wing.
A security official in the Gaza Strip said Hamas security bodies have launched a major campaign against “agents” for Israel, during which several collaborators have been arrested.
However, the organization announced giving amnesty to those who turn themselves in over the next week.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) denounced the executions, and said Hamas’ policies in Gaza increased Palestinian political divisions and provided further justifications for the continued Israeli siege of the coastal city.
PA spokesperson Tareq Reshmawi said: “The government rejects the execution orders in Gaza, as they come against the law, and were not made through a fair trial and due process standards.”
Human Rights Watch also condemned the executions as “abhorrent” and warned Hamas that they projected “weakness, not strength”.
“Hamas authorities will never achieve true security or stability through firing squads or by the gallows, but rather through respect for international norms and the rule of law,” according to Sarah Leah Whitson, the US-based group’s Middle East director.