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Hamas condemns Gaza trio for ‘collaborating’ with Israel, finalizes death sentences of another three

AFP-JIJI

A military court in the Islamist Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Sunday sentenced three Palestinian men to death for “collaborating” with Israel, the interior ministry said.

The three, condemned to be hanged, can appeal the sentence, according to a statement from the ministry.

The court noted that three other death sentences against Palestinians convicted of “treason” and providing information to “hostile third parties,” an allusion to Israel, had been “finalized,” meaning they could no longer appeal.

Another eight sentences ranging from two years in prison to life were handed down on Sunday, also for “collaborating” with Israel.

Before Sunday’s sentences, four death sentences had already been handed down by Gaza courts to Palestinians this year, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

The NGO condemned what it called “excessive application of this punishment in the Gaza Strip in light of absence of fair trial guarantees”

The Islamist group Hamas controls Gaza, while the Palestinian Authority led by president Mahmud Abbas runs the West Bank.

In theory, all execution orders in the Palestinian territories must be approved by Abbas, but Hamas no longer recognizes his legitimacy.

Under Palestinian law, death sentences can be passed for those convicted of collaborating with Israel, murder and drug trafficking.

The authorities in Gaza executed three men in May last year, the first time the death penalty had been carried out in the enclave since 2014, drawing condemnation from the United Nations.