Hamas executes two men in Gaza as spies for Israel
Two Palestinians were executed in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday as Israeli spies, the enclave's Islamist Hamas government said, adding they had helped the Jewish state's armed forces carry out lethal operations.
The condemned men, one of whom was hanged and the other shot by firing squad, “provided the Occupation (Israel) with information that led to the martyrdowm of citizens”, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, at least 19 prisoners have been executed, 10 of them as alleged spies.
Hamas refuses to recognize Israel and its charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Under local law, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is meant to have the final say on whether executions should be carried out. Hamas has refused any such consultations, though it entered a unity deal with Abbas last month designed to end a seven-year rift.
Human rights groups have repeatedly condemned the use of the death penalty in Gaza, but Hamas rejects such criticism.
The Interior Ministry statement said the men executed on Wednesday had been convicted of treason for providing Israel with information used to kill Palestinians and bomb Gaza targets. Both had exhausted legal options and had access to attorneys, the statement said.
Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Andrew Roche