Hamas has executed 18 Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel after three of its own military commanders were killed Thursday in an Israeli airstrike that may have been conducted on the basis of intelligence given by informants.
Eleven of the suspected informers were killed Friday at an abandoned Gaza police station following a hastily arranged trial and sentencing. Photos on the internet showed bodies lying in pools of blood.The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that two of the dead were women.
Later Friday seven men were killed outside the al-Omari Mosque in Gaza City after noon prayers. The victims had their heads covered and their hands tied and were shot dead by masked gunmen in front of a crowd of worshipers, the al-Majd pro-Hamas website said, citing witnesses.
Men from Hamas left a note at the scene of the execution to serve as a warning for future collaborators.
“They provided the enemy with information about the whereabouts of fighters, tunnels of resistance, bombs, houses of fighters and places of rockets, and the occupation bombarded these areas killing a number of fighters… Therefore, the ruling of revolutionary justice was handed upon him,” it read.
The Hamas-controlled Al Rai website ran a warning that said, “The same punishment will be imposed soon on others.” It added that “the current circumstances forced us to take such decisions,” suggesting a link between the executions and Israeli’s bombing of top Hamas leaders.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has denounced the killings.
“We demand the Palestinian National Authority and the resistance [Palestinian armed factions] to intervene to stop these extrajudicial executions, no matter what the reasons and the motives are,” Raji al-Surani, the chairman of the organization, said in a statement.
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